They came together one day to compare notes on their church’s approach to religion.
The first oyster said, “My church believes that God is love, therefore our minister emphasizes gentleness and sweetness while he gives his message. Everyone in our church is made to feel valuable, important and pampered. In fact, we are all made to feel happy as clams in our church.”
The second oyster said, “My church teaches that we need to look deeply into—and purify—our hearts. Treating us gently and sweetly all the time would obstruct the need, urgency and process for genuine spiritual self-examination and transformation. It seems that our minister even says things that will often irritate us and make us feel personal discomfort instead of trying to convince us how valuable we are—in spite of ourselves.”
“What is genuine transformation?” asked the first oyster.
“Open up your shell so that we can get a glimpse of what is in your inner world,” said the second oyster.
The first oyster opened his shell, revealing nothing of particular value—just a mass of slippery meat inside.
“How did that pearl get in there?” asked the first oyster.
“I have learned to deal with my irritations and to become aware of the many indignations I harbor deep within my self-centered heart. I am trying to make my life more valuable, and not simply be told I am valuable,” replied the second oyster.