A Story of Life
eloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:11-12
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wo men, both seriously ill, occupied the same room in a hospital. One of them had to get up out of bed for an hour every afternoon. His bed was next to the only window in the room. The other had to remain all the time lying in bed. The two of them chatted for hours on end. They talked about their wives and their families, about their homes, about their work, also reeling from memories of holidays past.
Every afternoon, the one man would rise and go to the window and spend the time describing to the other man what he saw going on beyond the window. For that short time the man, imprisoned upon his bed, began to live. His world was dependent upon the colors and activities in the outside world as the first man described them to him in detail. He described how beyond the window was a lovely park with a lake. Ducks and swans would play in the water, while children played their games. Young lovers walking hand in hand among flowers of every color, while in the distance the old men and women rested in the shade of the great, green trees. As the man at the window described the beauty of the scene, the one confined to his bed would close his eyes, imagining the scene. On one warm afternoon, the man beside the window described a parade passing by. Although the other couldn't hear the orchestra play, in the eyes of the mind he could see what the other described with so many expressive details. And so passed the days, the weeks and the months ....
One morning, when the nurse came to bring them water to wash, she found the lifeless body of the man beside the window who had reposed during sleep. She was deeply saddened and called for staff to take the inanimate body.
Considering it appropriate under the circumstances and at the time, the other, bedridden man, asked that, if possible, he be moved near the window where his hospital roommate had lain. The nurse was pleased to meet his desire and, once satisfied that everything was as it ought to be, left him alone. Slowly—slowly and painfully—he managed to set himself up in the bed enough to see, for the first time with his own eyes, the outside world through that lone window. He strained to extend himself as best he could toward the window. And in front of his eyes he saw through the window nothing but an empty wall. Upon the nurses’ return he asked the nurse how it was that his former roommate could see from the window the many wonders he had described to him in such detail. The nurse replied that the man was blind and could not see even the empty wall. To this she added, “Perhaps he simply wanted to console and cheer you."
It is a great joy to be able to make others joyful, despite the hardships of their existence. Shared with others, the trials may be endured, while the joys are doubled. If you want to feel wealthy, then take heed to the things that you have and that you can never buy with money.
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OrthoGraffiti Magazine (Romania), no. 6 April 2010, editor Lawrence Darrow. http://www.orthograffiti.ro/