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Beryl is a little girl of eight years. By November 2012, she will be nine years old, but she is a little girl with one of the most practical demonstrations of the word love. If you are looking for a lesson in love, please look no further than the actions of eight years old Beryl. Each day, I marvel at the actions of one so young and barely nine. Her practical demonstrations are more explicit than any dictionary can provide.

It is a week now since she requested if I could make photocopies of some pictures for her. It was intended for use in her art class at school.

‘But off course, I’d make them for you’, I was quick to reassure to get her off my back. (She can be a bother when she wants something done).
The days progressed and a day became a week. Her deadline; the following week’s Tuesday was just around the corner.

‘Could you please bring the photocopies when returning from work today? My teacher will punish me if I do not have them by tomorrow.’

‘But off course I will’. I promised again. ‘I am sorry I forgot them last week.’ The day was Monday morning of her deadline week and I reassured her a second time as I dashed off to work.

Work pressure has a way of taking your mind off issues unrelated to work. Hence when I returned home at about 8pm that day, feeling tired but accomplished after a hard day’s work, I hadn’t the slightest idea that I had forgotten anything. Until smiling Beryl happily opened the door at my ring and inquired about her photocopies. My heart sank.

The accomplished feeling fled my countenance. I felt dismayed to have failed her again. As I contemplated her impending confrontation with her teacher for failure to turn in her assignment, my face fell and sadness engulfed me. I walked slowly into the living room area, dejected, and dropped heavily into an armchair.

But Beryl loved me. She might not yet know the literal meaning of love (I am still teaching her how to find word meaning in the dictionary), but she fully understands its demonstrations.

An alternative reaction would have been to throw a tantrum at my forgetful nature, lament her impending ordeal at the hands of her teacher, blame it on me and then sulk for the remaining part of the evening.

Instead, her eyes filled with love as she ran after me to give me a big hug. ‘Please don’t feel bad’ she cried. ‘Am sure you had a very busy day today. You look very tired. Please just have your bath, eat something and rest. I’ll tell my teacher to give me until Wednesday, ok?’ These were the loving words of an eight-year old child. My grieving heart calmed at these gentle words and I proceeded to do as recommended.

Later on, while lying on my bed on the verge of slumber, a small palm caressed my cheeks and a soft voice whispered gently into my ears ‘see, I have put the umbrella here, beside your bedside table, ok’.

In morning I woke with loving memories of eight-year old Beryl’s action. The day before, I was beaten by the rain on my way to work from home because I couldn’t find the umbrella. Beryl did not like the idea that I’d get beaten a second time. So she helped search for the umbrella.

I don’t  know if any other action can explain the word ‘love’ more than the demonstrations of eight-year old Beryl. If you are looking for a lesson in love, please look no further than Beryl’s actions. Each day, I am astonished by her practical demonstrations what love is and what a loving heart is capable of. I learn so much from this sweet little child about how to open my heart to love and I pray daily for God’s help in becoming a model for her, worthy of emulation .

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