Once there was a traveler who was touring West Germany a few years after the war. In one of the towns he was visiting, he was invited to spend the night with a certain family. The family consisted of a father, a mother and a 2-year old boy.
The father began to tell the traveler something about the adoption the family especially about the circumstances surrounding the adoption of his youngster whom they had rescued during the war years.
The father said, “Our boy was just a poor orphan when we first saw him. He was in rags and very dirty, but his shoes were the worst of all. The upper parts were in tatter and the shoes had huge holes in them. When we took him in, we gave him new clothes and threw his old ones away. We decided, however, to keep those battered shoe as a reminder of how bad off he had been when he first came here. I keep them on a shelf, and when the boy complains or become unruly, I merely walk slowly to the shelf, haul the shoes down and remind him of how much we have done for him.”
The traveler saw that the boy looked hurt and ashamed and, in fact, a bit unwanted as this story was told. The traveler did not say anything since he didn’t want to offend his host, but he thought to himself, “what a blessing it is that God does not continually drag our old shoes!”
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