Virtue of the Week: Love

LoveUNCONDITIONAL LOVE

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco.

“Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve a favor to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring home with me.”

“Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.”

“There’s something you should know the son continued, “he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come live with us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live.”

“No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.”

“Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.”

At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know, their son had only one arm and one leg.

The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don’t like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren’t as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are. Thankfully, there’s someone who won’t treat us that way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.


Two HorsesTWO HORSES

Just down the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.
But if you get a closer look you will notice something quite interesting…

One of the horses is blind.

His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made him a safe and comfortable barn to live in.

This alone is pretty amazing.

But if you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. It is coming from a smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse’s halter is a small, copper-colored bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends you’ll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, he will stop occasionally to look back, making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges doesn’t mean that we should be thrown away. Sometimes others are brought into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse, being guided by the little ringing bell of those who have been placed in our lives.

And at other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.