JUDGE ME BY THE FOOTPRINTS I LEAVE BEHIND

A story is told about a soldier who was finally
coming home after having
fought in Vietnam.

He called his parents from San Francisco.

 "Mom and Dad, I'm coming home, but I've got a favor to ask.
I have a friend I'd like to bring with me."

"Sure," they replied, "we'd love to meet him."

"There's something you should know the son
continued,  "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting.
He stepped on a land mine and lost an  arm and a  leg.
He has nowhere else to go, and I want him to come
live with us."

"I'm sorry to hear that, son.  Maybe we can help
him find somewhere to  live."

"No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us."

"Son," said the father, "you don't know what you're
asking.  Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on
us.  We have our own  lives to live, and we can't let something like this
interfere with our  lives.  I think you should just come home and
forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own."

At that point, the son hung up the phone. The
parents heard nothing more from him.

A few days later, however, they received a call
from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a
building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide.

The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco
and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son.
They recognized him, but to  their horror they also discovered something
they didn't know, their son had only one arm and one leg.

The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those
who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don't like  people
who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather
stay away from people who aren't as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are.

Thankfully, there's someone who won't treat us that
way. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes
us into the forever family, regardless of how messed up we are.

Tonight, before you tuck yourself in for the night,
say a little prayer that God will give you the strength you need to
accept people as they are, and to help us all be more understanding of
those who are different from us!!!

There's a miracle called -Friendship- that dwells
in the heart. You don't know how it happens or when it gets started.
But you know the special lift it always brings and you realize that
friendship is God's  most precious gift!

Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make
you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they
share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.