Monday, 6 August 2012

A gift of love

“Can I see my baby?” the happy new
mother asked.
When the bundle was nestled in her
arms and she moved the fold of cloth
to look upon his tiny face, she
gasped. The doctor turned quickly
and looked out the tall hospital
window. The baby had been born
without ears.
Time proved that the baby’s hearing
was perfect. It was only his
appearance that was marred. When
he rushed home from school one day
and flung himself into his mother’s
arms, she sighed, knowing that his life
was to be a succession of heartbreaks.
He blurted out the tragedy. “A boy, a
big boy … called me a freak.”
He grew up, handsome for his
misfortune. A favorite with his fellow
students, he might have been class
president, but for that. He developed
a gift, a talent for literature and music.
“But you might mingle with other
young people,” his mother reproved
him, but felt a kindness in her heart.
The boy’s father had a session with
the family physician. Could nothing be
done? “I believe I could graft on a pair
of outer ears, if they could be
procured,” the doctor decided.
Whereupon the search began for a
person who would make such a
sacrifice for a young man. Two years
went by. Then, “You are going to the
hospital, Son. Mother and I have
someone who will donate the ears
you need. But it’s a secret,” said the
father. The operation was a brilliant
success, and a new person emerged.
His talents blossomed into genius,
and school and college became a
series of triumphs.
Later he married and entered the
diplomatic service. “But I must know!”
He urged his father, “Who gave so
much for me? I could never do
enough for him.” “I do not believe
you could,” said the father, “but the
agreement was that you are not to
know … not yet.” The years kept their
profound secret, but the day did
come … one of the darkest days that a
son must endure. He stood with his
father over his mother’s casket. Slowly,
tenderly, the father stretched forth a
hand and raised the thick, reddish-
brown hair to reveal that the mother
had no outer ears. “Mother said she
was glad she never let her hair be
cut,” he whispered gently, “and
nobody ever thought Mother less
beautiful, did they?”
Real beauty lies not in the physical
appearance, but in the heart. Real
treasure lies not in what that can be
seen, but what that cannot be seen.
Real love lies not in what is done and
known, but in what that is done but
not known.

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