The Limits of Our Hearts


A butcher in a small town of Europe used to sell various forms of meat which were already cooked. After he had cooked the meat, he would save the water in which it had been boiled to give to the poor families of the neighborhood. Two middle school boys, John and Robert, came regularly with glass jars to get their share of the water. Their mothers would add a few vegetables to it and the result would be a very delicious and nourishing soup.

One day John noticed that Robert brought a larger jar that he did. The butcher filled both of the jars to the top. But John was dissatisfied. After Robert had left the shop, John voiced his complaint to the butcher: "Why did you give Robert more broth than you gave me?" The butcher's answer was an equally direct question: "Why didn't you bring a larger jar?"

We all live in the same world, but somepeople receive more joy than others, because of their big hearts. These people get a deeper meaning from everything they see or hear. They don't complain, but strive to appreciate the better things in life around them.

The butcher was very generous in distributing his broth. However, he could not give more broth to John than his jar could hold. In the same way, God is always very generous in giving us his blessings. He grants to each person only as much happiness at that person's heart can hold. Our task is to expand the limits of our hearts.