What love is?

A soldier, wearied and tired was returning home from a distant town after the war. He called home.

His mother who was anxiously waiting for his return was happy to hear her son was alive.  While she welcomed him home, he interrupted and asked “Mum, I’m bringing my friend along with me.  Could he stay with us?”  The mother joyfully welcomed the proposal. The son continued, “But mum I just like to let you know that this friend of mine has lost both legs in the war and we will have to assist him around.”  The mother replied “Son, it is going to be very difficult taking care of him.  You know what a tough time it will be for us”. The son never returned home at all. It was he who had lost his legs. He had no friend with him.

He felt he would be a burden if he returned home.  He never felt he would receive that love at home. True love requires great courage and a spirit of sacrifice. Jesus symbolically presenting himself as a Good shepherd expresses the extent of what love is, “I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11). He says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Saint Paul explains the abundance of God’s love for each of us saying “God has poured out his love into our hearts”.  When we don’t become conscious of that love, we tend to become unloving or less prone to love and care for others. A man was hanging an announcement on a tree announcing the sale of seven puppies. A little boy watching him asked him, how much a puppy would cost. Looking at the appearance of the boy, the man said “I don’t think you can afford to buy a puppy.  Each one costs two thousand rupees.  Do you have that money?”  The boy’s countenance fell.

He looked at the man in great disappointment while tears rolled down his cheeks. “Sir, I just have a few coins with me.  Can I at least look at them with this money?” The man hesitated and rolled open up the kennel calling the puppies one by one, by name. Out came the cute looking puppies like little balls of cotton.  But the seventh puppy did not come out. The man called again, and there came the puppy limping, physically challenged dragging itself towards the man.

The boy picked up the puppy, kissed it ignoring the other six puppies.  The man curiously asked the boy why he was interested only in this puppy.

The boy lifting his pants gently and showed the man his artificial legs saying “Only this puppy can understand my pain and I can understand his pain”.  Deeply touched by the boys words, offered him the puppy for free.

True love is putting ourselves in the place of others.

Courtesy: Deccan Herald

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