Story No. 87 – The most beautiful heart

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most

beautiful heart in the whole valley.

A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a

flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen.

The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.

Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, “Why your heart is not nearly as

beautiful as mine.”

The crowd and the young man 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 jagged edges.

In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were

missing. The people starred how could he say his heart is more beautiful,

they thought?

The young man looked at the old man’s heart and saw its state and laughed.

“You must be joking,” he 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 I would never trade with you. 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, which I cherish, because they

remind me of the love we shared.

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 giving love is taking a chance. Although 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 I have waiting. So now do you see what true

beauty is?”

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man,

reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old

man with trembling hands.

The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred

heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart. It fit but not perfectly, as there were

some jagged edges.

The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love

from the old man’s heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.

Physical perfection is not always beautiful.