The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Unconditional Love.

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The young Royal Marine was finally coming home after serving three tours of duty in Afghanistan. He had arrived in the UK some months before and was now receiving treatment in a military hospital, but because of his intensive injuries he had been receiving specialist treatment before they could discharge him and allow him to go home. Upon being informed that he was being discharged, he now phoned his parents to tell them he would be coming home in a couple of days and was looking forward to seeing them again. Then he said, "I have a favour to ask you, I'd like to bring a friend home with me if that would be alright?" "Of course you can bring your friend," said his parents. "There's something you should know first," the son continued, "He was pretty badly injured in the fighting, he stepped on a landmine and lost both legs and an arm and is confined to a wheelchair. I really want him to come and live with us, he has no family, nowhere else to go and there is plenty of room at our house, so what do you think?" There was a long pause on the other end of the phone and he could hear his parents talking softly to each other, then his dad came on the phone and said, "I'm sorry to hear about your friend, but someone with those dreadful injuries would be a terrible burden on us and I don't think your mother would cope. Surely there must be long term hospitals for people like him?" At this point in the conversation their son put down the receiver. The days passed by and they heard nothing more from him, until they were visited by a police officer who told them he had some bad news for them, their son had been found dead in his room earlier in the morning. His father asked how he died and was told he had committed suicide by taking sleeping pills washed down with half a bottle of whiskey. The parents were understandably distraught, but worse was to come, for when they went to identify his body they found he had no legs and only one arm!

I'm sure you will agree this is a very moving story, but with a basis of truth, as many of our soldiers did indeed suffer dreadful injuries whilst serving their country in Afghanistan. It would be easy to think badly of the family that said they couldn't cope, but sometimes we all find it easy to love those who are good looking, or fun to be around. We don't always like people who inconvenience us, or make us feel uncomfortable around them. The good news is that God loves us all and welcomes us into his family, regardless of how messed up we are.

"Hope, is the mechanism that keeps the human race tenaciously alive, with our
dreaming, planning, and building. Hope is the opposite of cynicism and despair."

Published Sun 28th Feb 2016 09:10:01
Last Modified on Sun 28th Feb 2016 09:10:01

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