A young woman was standing in the middle of the town claiming that she had the most beautiful heart in the whole world. A large crowd gathered and they all admired her heart as 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 as beautiful as mine.
The crowd and the young woman 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 sharp edges. The young woman looked at the old man’s heart and laughed.
You must be joking, she 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 mine is better than yours. 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 …......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. So now you can see what true beauty is.
The young woman stood silently with tears running down her cheeks. She walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. She offered it to the old man.
The old man took her offering, placed it in her heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound of the young woman’s heart.
It fit …. but not perfectly, as there were some sharp edges.
The young woman looked at her heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into her.