"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Perfect Heart

Here's a story I chanced upon online. Thought it was worth a share.

A young man was standing in the middle of the 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.

But an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said “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. The young man looked at the old man’s heart and laughed.

“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.

“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 I have waiting. 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. 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 in the young man’s heart.

It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.

The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into his.

The only bit in the story that didn't sit with me was that part when the old man talks about waiting for the return of the people who didn't love him back, to occupy the spaces in his heart that are waiting to be filled.

I am disinclined to that bit because sometimes, that's just the way it is, you know? You love someone who doesn't love you back. It happens to all of us at some point in our lives. Maybe they're not there to love you. Maybe God sometimes sends you to people - to opportunities to love - regardless of the outcome. Because sometimes, you may not have your love reciprocated, but that never means you don't get anything from the love that you gave. You always get something back.


(Photo credit: avenue207)


bluggerbug said...

Thanks for sharing this, Tats! It's a beautiful story.

Cels said...

You are deep romantic)

Colleen said...

Thanks for sharing this to us. Keep on posting.

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