Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Blanket

When I was a little boy I had to shroud myself in a ripped and tattered blanket. As I trembled and shivered during the cold and blustery seasons of my youth, I yearned for the cozy blankets that other children were provided, but I had to learn to make do with what I had. Occasionally my blanket would get some patchwork mending that afforded me with some additional warmth, but these were fleeting repairs that eventually left my blanket more threadbare than before.

As I grew older, I ultimately became numb to the cold and came to believe that my shabby blanket was all I needed to protect me from the harsh chill. But after several more frigid winters, I began to think that I was probably better off facing the cold without a blanket at all and I set to cast it aside. I felt certain that a stout young man should be able to shelter himself from the severe conditions through sheer will alone.

While I was wandering through another bitterly cold season, I by chance came across a beautiful quilt. It had all of the warm, welcoming elements of the blankets that I had envied as a child. I felt an overwhelming need to wrap myself up in it. Once I was enshrouded in it, I knew I needed this quilt to thaw my chill and help me reach a depth of warmth I had yet to encounter. I began to examine it more closely, and I discovered that it was decorated with gorgeous, intricate patterns. With all of its meticulous stitching, it was obvious that someone had worked very hard on fashioning its beautiful design, and I became afraid that I would not be able to afford such a luxurious piece.

Through patient hard work, I was eventually able to earn what was needed to acquire the quilt. I spent many comfortable nights wrapped up in its cozy warmth. The more time I spent immersed in its deep lush layers, the more I grew to appreciate its wonderful design. My quilt just kept growing more pleasantly snug the longer I nuzzled up with it.

But as people often do, I forgot how cold I was before I found my quilt and I started to take its coziness for granted. Instead of properly tending to its care, I let my quilt get frayed and a little worn. When others needing warmth tried to seek cover under my quilt, I became selfish, and like a child who doesn't want to share, I started to tug and pull on it.  In doing so, I caused some tears, and I realized that what I was doing would eventually turn my quilt into the tattered blanket of my youth.

Fortunately the harm done by my carelessness was not so extensive that it couldn’t be repaired. Without delay, I began mending the damage, and I discovered that with the help of others, my quilt could be expanded and it's beautiful patterns enhanced. I found that the more I shared my quilt, the warmer and cozier I felt while under its cover.  I finally realized that my quilt had always been ample enough to shelter many others, and with their help, it could continue to grow larger and more encompassing so that no one should have to suffer the bitter cold alone.

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