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 stared -- how can 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.

Author Unknown

Music Playing:
"You Got A Friend"

Arranged by Lulu Robertson
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