(Minghui.org) Continued from Part 2

A Disaster Mitigated

During the Qing Dynasty, an uncontrollable fire carved its way through a dense neighborhood in Hangzhou. More than ten houses were turned to ashes despite all attempts at quenching the flames. During this chaotic time, many onlookers witnessed a deity waving a red flag, directing the fire away from a particular house. This was the home of Mr. Gu. His house remained standing, and his wife and children were unscathed. Mr. Gu, however, was absent from the scene on business travel.

This is the story of Mr. Gu's travels.

As he docked his boat along the Suzhou River, a crying young woman caught his attention. He inquired about her state, and she replied, “My husband was sentenced to prison because of his unpaid debt of 50 silver. I cannot bear to live alone, so I am contemplating drowning myself.”

Without hesitation, Mr. Gu took out 50 silver from his wallet and handed it to her. The woman thanked him and left.

On his return trip, he docked in the same town again. The woman and her husband spotted Mr. Gu and invited him to stay at their home. The husband explained, “We are financially unstable, and there is no way for us to repay you. Please spend the night at our house and let us take care of you.” He offered his wife to accompany Mr. Gu at night. Mr. Gu respectfully declined and slept in his boat.

After Mr. Gu arrived back home, neighbors asked him what kind deeds he did to obtain such protection from deities for his house to be saved from the fire. Mr. Gu couldn't think of the reason.

Upon repeated questioning, he thought of the episode of helping the couple and rejecting their offer. The timing coincided with that of the fire.

Mr. Gu saved the couple's lives and the woman's reputation. His kind deeds moved the heavens, and a disaster was mitigated. The moral of this story is not to do good deeds with an ulterior motive of winning protection from the gods. On the contrary, humans should always carry a sense of unconditional compassion for others. Positive karmic retribution is just a byproduct, not to be chased.