Clear Heart Vision

02/10/2014

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, but just felt in the heart.”

Anne Sullivan taught this concept, now a well-known saying, to 11-year old Helen Keller as described in the book The Story of My Life [quote source]

invisible to the eye Antoine de Saint-ExuperyToday I share the following parable to help crystallize the concept of seeing with our heart:

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

“This window overlooks a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans play on the water while children sail their model boats.” the man by the window said. “Young lovers walk arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline can be seen in the distance.”

While the man by the window described this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. His smile growing with every new piece of detail told to him.

One afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although, the other man couldn’t hear the band, any commotion or excitement – he could see it.

branch heartsOne morning, the day nurse entered the room to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. Slowly and painfully, the man propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside that he had heard so much about. He strained to slowly look out the window. It faced a blank wall.

The man was confused and somewhat disappointed. He looked forward to seeing all the wonderful things his roommate had described to him. The park, the lake, the ducks and swans. None of that could be seen from the bedside window.

Feeling a little frustrated the man asked the nurse, “What could have compelled my roommate to lie to me like he did? He described such wonderful things outside this window but nothing he spoke of can be seen. All that is visible is that ugly grey blank wall. Why did he lie to me?”

“Didn’t he tell you?” the nurse responded, “He was blind so he couldn’t see the wall. But maybe he described such wonderful things because they were visions in his mind and he wanted to encourage you?”

The man laid back on his bed and let out a sigh as he softly said, “Yes, that he did.” Then he whispered to himself, “Thank you for sharing your wonderful world, my friend.”
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30 responses to Clear Heart Vision

  1. 

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful world with me, Gina. Your view of the world through your big and open heart is breath-taking.
    Russ

  2. 

    I had read this before long time ago. Thank you for posting it here. It reminds me of a quote a Pastor once said, “Don’t believe what you see, see what you believe.”

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    • 

      Yes this is a good old story – worth repeating its wise lesson. I love what that Pastor had said. It’s very true! Thank you always for your cheerful blessing of encouragement! May you be blessed and encouraged as well Francine. xo Gina

  3. 

    What a great composition. The Little Prince is one of of my favorite books, and I love the heart tree.

    • 

      Thanks Meredith ~ me too! I was thinking of that amazing story as I admired this art. That author had a far-seeing heart for sure. Thanks again for sharing your encouraging comments! xo Gina

  4. 

    I remember this story. Thanks for bringing it back to me. 🙂 It’s a special one.

  5. 

    You always seem to post the most opportune things when I need them the most. I was in the middle of studying, feeling more and more discouraged with each word I read but in taking a break to read your post I’m now feeling lifted up in all sorts of ways. A testament that you are definitely doing something right. Thank you for sharing your positive world (and always at the right time too!). 🙂

    • 

      Lillian! How happy it makes me to hear back that the timing of this post and the touching parable to remind us to see ‘with our heart’ came at the perfect time for you. I absolutely love it when that happens for me too, and I’m delighted it happened for you here. Cheers, and best wishes for smooth studying. xo Gina

  6. 

    Thank you Gina for sharing this story and reminding me of how we look, how we see and how we share 🙂

    With gratitude to you as always,
    Lucy :))

  7. 

    This sent chills down my spine, thank you Gina, what a beautiful story!

  8. 

    What interesting reading I found in ‘Quote Investorgator’.
    Gina you give me leads to wonderfull thought provoking reading.
    Off to NZ today with time at air port to catch up on some reading.
    Kind Regards Your friend Jack.
    I will not say old friend as I am a new friend. 🙂
    I never really think of myself as old regardless of the years.

    • 

      That makes me so happy, since you shouldn’t. You know I teased you about calling yourself ‘like a Grandfather clock – obsolete’. I like the wisdom-gaining the years bring, yet I encourage us all to remain Young At Heart, forever. And yes, you are a most welcome ‘new’ friend! 😀

  9. 

    I’ve always like this story. It’s one of hope and compassion.

  10. 

    This is a very heartfelt story. Hugs, Barbara

  11. 

    Reblogged this on idealisticrebel and commented:
    A perfect story for those who have an open heart

  12. 
    paininhidingabuse 02/10/2014 at 9:53 pm

    Reblogged this on Pain in Hiding Abuse and commented:
    so so true!

  13. 

    Perfect Valentine’s day reminder…..also it is Buddha’s birthday……appropriate for that also. Thanks