There are stories that find their way into your heart and stay there forever. This is one that found its way into mine. There was once an elderly woman who lived in a violent, drug-ravaged, crumbling neighborhood in an old city. Her children had died before her. Time had left its mark on her too. She was no longer pretty in the eyes of the world. She had become wrinkled, stooped, thin and hollow-eyed. Her body was now half crippled with arthritis.
Still, this little old lady continually brought joy to the community around her. Everyone called her “Granny” and she was a loving Grandmother to all. As she moved slowly down the street she would sing hymns and share smiles. She had a kind word for everyone. She gave her gentle laughter as a free gift to all. She offered encouragement, said prayers for, and brought hope to the disheartened. She went about doing good every chance she could. No one who met her left without their heart feeling lighter and their smile shining brighter. Her serenity and tranquility remained a mystery to the neighborhood, though. No one could figure out how someone who had lost and suffered so much could live so beautifully.
One day a curious little girl ran up to the tiny old woman shuffling along with her walker and called out to her. “How do you do it Granny?”, she asked. “How do you love so freely? How do you live so happily? How do you give so much to all of us everyday?” Granny just smiled at her and said, “Because God loves me child! Because He loves me, I love Him and you and everybody else!”
What a glorious truth she shared. There is no better reason to live and love than that. That is why this story will forever have a home in my heart. May you too make your life a beautiful gift of love, just because “God Loves You!”
Joseph J. Mazzella [email protected]