Here is a beautiful story sent to me many years ago by a reader of my articles in Michigan, USA. I thought I   will share it with you because it reminds us as Adventists of the true purpose and meaning of love, especially during this difficult time in our country.

"A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat." "Is your husband home?" They asked. "No," She said. "He's out." "Then we cannot come in," they replied. In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what has happened. "Go tell them I am home and invite them in!"

The woman went out and invited the men in. "We do not go into a House together," they replied. "Why is that?" She wanted to know. One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come in and fill our home with wealth!" His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?" Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!" "Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife. "Go out and invite Love to be our guest."

The woman went out and asked the three old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest." Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?" The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!"

Dear reader, who are you inviting to your home today? Is it Success? We all do want that. Is it Wealth? Certainly, financial independence is something we all would like to attain. Or is it love? During the hippie years, one of the most popular songs was "What the world needs now is love sweet love. It’s the only thing that’s there’s just too little of." How true. If we focus on success or wealth alone, the chances of experiencing or developing a passion to share and love others will be very, very small. Wealth and success without love is self-centeredness. And self-centeredness is a root cause for crime and immoral behavior. However, if we focus on love, providing a caring, nonjudgmental family life and community, the chance of being successful and wealthy (not necessarily with money) increases tenfold.

As a society, we have focused too long on being successful and wealthy. What is missing is a nation of compassion, forgiveness, understanding, and love. If every national and community leader, religious and civic leader, mom and dad, would invite LOVE into their homes how different will be our families and nation? If we have love, success and wealth will also come in. Let’s try it.

"My wish for you is: Where there is pain, I wish you peace and mercy.

Where there is self-doubting, I wish you a renewed confidence in your ability to work through them. Where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I wish you understanding, patience, and renewed strength. Where there is fear, I wish you love and courage."

Article by Barrington H. Brennen, MA, NCP, JP, Marriage & Family Therapist and Counseling Psychologist.

This article is extracted from the Logos for February 13, 2021.