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Monday, January 19, 2009

Where There is Love, Nothing is Missing - a Parable - jonathan lockwood huie

The businessman looked around the vacation villa in Puerto Vallarta.  Plain, but clean and well furnished.  A good place to grab a few days away from his failing business and troubled marriage.  He had brought a large supply of sleeping pills and had requested several bottles of Tequila to be brought to his room.  Perhaps he could at least drown a few of his worries.
     He watched as the housekeeper stocked the villa's kitchen - frozen dinners, some dry cereal, and thankfully, four large bottles of liquor - they had paid careful attention to his unusual requests.  The frozen dinners would be easy - he could focus on his lonely drinking, and lose himself.
     Jim noticed the housekeeper's slow movements, the stoop in her shoulders, the stubby yellowed teeth.  It was somehow comforting to see that other people could be even worse off than he was.  Even with his company troubles and impending divorce, Jim was sure he could always find the money to keep his teeth whitened and in good repair - even find the money for the hair transplant he had promised himself.  He shivered a little, just thinking about those teeth.
     The woman shuffled over to him.  "Senor, you not look happy.  TV dinner not good.  I am Maria, I cook.  I bring you real food."
     "OK, OK."  Jim didn't want to talk with anyone, and certainly not with this woman.  Besides, a taco might be better than microwave food - if it showed up on his table.


The bustling in the kitchen brought Jim out of the depths of his hangover.  It hadn't been a really big night - less than a whole bottle of booze, and none of the sleeping pills - he might want to take those all at once.  Still, he felt really lousy, and resented the intrusion.  The bedside clock showed 12:30 as Maria opened the curtains and sunlight poured in.
     The enticing smells of spicy meat and corn filled the villa.  Maria stood over him, offering a plate of tamales.  "Senor, eat.  You feel better."
     Jim reached for one, took a hesitant bite, and relaxed a little.  Before he knew it, the heaping plate was almost empty.
     Maria moved the nearly empty plate to the kitchen counter.  "You were hungry.  Get a nice hot bath.  I come back," and she moved toward the door.
     "How much do I owe you," Jim called out, remembering her apparent poverty.
     "Nothing.  My gift.  You were hungry," and she was gone.


The next afternoon, Chiles Rellenos appeared.  Jim had drunk less the second night, and was even more appreciative of the good food.  Again, Maria would not accept payment.  "I have money.  You must need money, please take it," Jim almost pleaded.
     Maria replied, "I am rich.  Please come to my home tonight.  I will show you.  I come back at seven."


At exactly 7 PM, there was a knock on the door.  Jim followed Maria into the warm twilight.  They walked silently through the tourist area, then turned sharply down an alley.  They emerged into a neighborhood of partially finished stucco dwellings.  Iron reinforcing rods spiked the tops of the unfinished verticals.  Plastic sheeting substituted for glass in the unfinished windows.  Maria led Jim to one of the unfinished stairways and began to climb.
     Opening a door on the fourth floor, Maria smiled at Jim and beckoned him to enter.  The walls and floor were bare except for small rugs and weavings that combined bright reds, oranges, and yellows.  A small sofa and a few chairs lined the walls, one of which honored an oversized Madonna-with-child picture featuring a dark-skinned Mary.  The small room was dominated by a long plank table covered with food and surrounded by a dozen happy-looking eaters of all shapes and ages - newborns to nineties.  The delicious smells welcomed Jim.
     Near tears, Jim turned to Maria to thank her, but words didn't form.
     Leading Jim to the table, Maria introduced him to her family, saying, "I am rich.  I have my family.  Where there is love, nothing is missing.  My family is now your family."

13 comments:

  1. Dear friends,
    Thank you so much for this story. I can totally relate. "Where there is love, nothing is missing." Last night I had a dinner at my friend's. The lovely orange flowers on the table, the rich stuffed pork with few potatoes, the Mexican salsa salad, the sweet newborn child, the Italian and French wine, the scoop of ice cream, the stories we exchanged and the time shared was worth more then one can accumulate in a term deposit at the bank. Priceless, indeed. Thank you. I don't know how to spell it:"Me casa su casa": one cannot feel lost and alone any longer. Have a wonderful day. Jolanta

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  2. Lovely story ... if only all families could make love the priority in their loves, there would be more "love-people" to share love. This world would be a better place, more peace, more for everyone to share.....Life could be so simple and happy... Let us not complicate life, let us pray for this, let us pray for that peace.... Pamelita

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  3. Make "love" the priority in your life.... everything else will follow.

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  4. What a beautiful and truly heartwarming story, all about love.

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  5. Jonathan - I read this when you reposted it some time last year - not your first 1/19/09 post, as I've been following you every day for only a year now - and I've read it a few times since, I think - and this story brings tears to my eyes every time. It's beautiful.

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  6. Its unfortunately not my family. Please find love were ever you can. My home burned down and my husband and two teenage daughters were homeless for eight months. We went from one motel to the next. Family could not care less but the people we meet along the way are now our family. You do not have to be related by blood to be part of a family. Your true family are people who care, share and wants best for you.

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  7. So beautiful. Had the darndest time trying not to cry. Thank you for this.

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  8. Nice one it is always good to show love to every one...it makes people feel appreciated
    .......sola

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  9. love is where you find it. i flows freely regardless of anything. it is the most beautiful and magnificent experience ever. i found it altho too late...
    i am thankful to have seen and tasted the true sense of true love. true enough, the world seems so perfect.
    thank you for this wonderful message of love.

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  10. Thanks for this inspiring story, for when we have love we have much to be thankful for today. I know God will not desert me in my time of need if I have love for Him.

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful, awesome, heartwarming and truly inspiring story, it brought so much tears to my eyes... it touched my life. Love is always a miracle, it flows freely from within.. Life will be so simple, uncomplicated and happy, if we will have the gratefulness and thankfulness habit everytime and all the time. God is great all the time…....

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  12. This story brought back memories for me. Last yr. we were in the Dominic. The owner of a plantation invited us into her home to tour. She said your family is my family, just like this story.

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  13. Love wrapped in GRACE- GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS AND CARE EVERYDAY- makes all people smile. Merle Jordan BARBADOS

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