The empty bench..!

191

ALL the benches except one, had people sitting on them, and I wondered why. And then I saw a pretty girl walk over and sit on that same empty bench. I walked over too, as the others were taken and sat down.
She turned to me. I looked at her and I saw a burn scar that ran across her pretty face. “I love this bench!” she said. “Why?” I asked, looking at her puzzled.
“Did you notice nobody sits on it?” she asked. I nodded as she rose and showed me where she had been sitting. The part on her side had obviously been attacked by some fungus, which though removed, had left its telltale signs.
“Nobody sits here, because of this!” she said simply. “And nobody came near me for many years because of this!” I saw her pointing at the scar on her face. “Is the bench comfortable?” “Strangely, it’s more comfortable than those others!” I said.
“It is!” said the pretty girl with the scar, “But nobody is willing to find out whether it is or not, because of the stains!” “And you had the same experience, I guess,” I said sadly.
She nodded, but her face was filled with joy, “For many years this scar on my face put people off. They looked no farther, though all along my ma and pa continued telling me I was the most beautiful girl in the world!”
“But you didn’t believe them?” I asked, and she shook her head sadly, “Because like this bench no one came near me!” “Then what happened?” I asked, hoping to hear a love story.
“One day as I was sitting like this, a burst of sunshine came through the clouds and it was like I felt a love filling me, enveloping me! It came through the trees, through the clouds, and just wrapped itself around me! I looked up, and knew that the One who had created me, loved me, and saw a beauty inside that others were not willing to see!”
“I guess the person who donated this bench must be feeling the same way!” I said, as she grinned. “I donated this bench!” she chuckled, “And I made it the most comfortable one in the park. Now I watch as people don’t sit on it, because of this disfigured part which I actually painted onto it!”
“You painted it?” I asked incredulously. “Yes,” she laughed, and her laugh was bright and cheerful, “I love it when people finally come over, like you, sit on it and find it is the most comfortable in the park. Such people have looked beyond the scars and felt its real beauty!”
We laughed together, as I felt true beauty beyond her scarred face! I wondered how many of us don’t look beyond someone’s scars, colour or someone’s plain looks and miss out on real beauty..!
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