Thursday, April 29, 2010

Without suffering there'd be no compassion.

[Years ago I came upon this story, though I can't determine the source. Yet, I was impacted by it once again and thought you might have a similar experience.]
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 mine 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.
I wonder how many of us gravitate toward acting like this soldier's parents, happy enough to be with those whom may be of benefit to us, but having great aversion to those less lovable.


At 30 April, 2010 13:32, Blogger Young Wife said...

Wow. That's a great story.

At 04 May, 2010 12:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The love and acceptance we can recieve from our 'Brothers and Sisters' in Christ should NEVER EVER be UNDERESTIMATED. You may just be the last link in the chain between someone and THE END.


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