Someone very close told me this story:
Once upon a time, there was a man who sculpted a beautiful girl out of a rare stone. The sculpture was so beautiful that he fell in love with it. One day, a rich merchant, travelling by that way, saw the beautiful sculpture and felt something was missing. He covered the sculpture with the finest of silk that he had. He loved the way his cloth was brought to life by this sculpture, that he fell in love with the girl in stone too.
Then came a passer-by, who saw the sculpture and was struck by its beauty. He did not notice the sculptor and the merchant around as he was so enchanted. He draped the clothing in a way that the merchant could not even imagine. All that was now seen was not the richness of the finest silk, but the elegance of the sculpture. He then embellished the stone in a way that the sculptor himself could not have ever thought of. Every part of the beautiful sculpture was now more beautiful, reflecting what he was seeing the girl as.
While the three men sat beside the sculpture besotted in love, there came another wise man. He was enthralled by the beauty of the sculpture that he fell in love too and felt that the girl in stone needs to be brought to life for the beauty to be more meaningful. He touched the stone, and the girl came alive.
The men were mesmerized with the way she opened her eyes and looked at each one of them. They were so struck by love that they wanted to marry her.
The sculptor said – I made her. She is mine!
The merchant said – I dressed her. She is mine!
The wise man said – I brought her to life. She is mine!
The passer-by said – I love her!
The girl saw all of this and was lost. She could see love all around her, and did not know what to do. How could she marry all of them? Each one of them was so important, and how could she choose? She went to a saint who lives nearby and narrated what had happened. All the men were standing there eager to know what the saint would say.
The saint heard the girl and closed his eyes with a smile. He then told the girl:
“Dear, I understand your situation. They are all very important to you. Here’s what I have to say, and you may find your answer.
The sculptor made you. He brought you into being. He is your father.
The merchant dressed you. He covered you and protected you. He is your brother.
The wise man gave you life. He breathed this life into you. He is your God.
The passer-by beautified you. He did not give you anything, but enhanced everything that you had. He loves you.”