I just finished reading the children's classic Heidi for the first time (and yes, I cried like a girl). This may be the most beautiful story I have ever read in my life.There were so many good things illustrated there, it would take a long time to talk about them all.

Rather that risk any spoilers for someone who might not have read the original version, I will limit my comments. But the story line did the most amazing job of revealing one of the most important truths about relationships — No one could predict how the giving and receiving of love, life, and goodness could change so many lives so dramatically, and bring about so much joy! Of course, the beauty of story-telling is that the messages conveyed in a narrative can penetrate our heart so much deeper than any didactic teaching could ever reach.

And for contrast, we are also treated to a few characters who operation under other premises. One out of fear, another whose only sense of value is consumed by the need to be "proper"; and yet another who is simply quite selfish and given to fits of temper. These contrasts leave absolutely no doubt about the crucial need for life-giving relationships.

I am far richer tonight for having entertained in my mind for these few hours such a wonderful picture of a wonder-struck, loving little girl, who (when loved well) lived in joy and changed everyone around her. I cannot imagine very many things that could better show how God meant for us to love one another.

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