Sunday, February 12, 2012


True Beauty

    One day a young man was standing in the middle of town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect.
    There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
    Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine."
    The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly but full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.
    The people stared, then began whispering to each other, "How can he say his heart is more beautiful?"
    The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw it's state and laughed, "Hahaha!" 
     "You must be joking." he said. "Compare your heart with mine. Mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."
      "Yes," said the old man. "Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love. I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them and often, they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart. But because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges which I cherish because they remind me of the love we shared."
       Then the old man points to a few holes in his heart and explains, "Sometimes, I have given pieces of my heart away and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges--- giving love is taking a chance. Although, these gouges are painful, they stay open. Reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space that I have waiting for them."
      The old man grins and looks at the young man, "So, now do you see what true beauty is?"
      The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart and ripped a piece out. With trembling hands, he offered it to the old man.
       The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound of the young man's heart.
       It fit but not perfectly because there were still some jagged edges.
       The young man looked at his heart which was not perfect anymore but more beautiful than before, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his.
        Both men embraced and walked away side by side.

John 13:34-35   "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."                 NLT

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