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God's Favorite Gift

There is a story from the Middle Ages about a young woman who was expelled from heaven and told that she would be readmitted if she would bring back the one gift God valued the most. She brought back drops of blood from a dying patriot. She collected coins given by a destitute widow for the poor. She brought back a remnant of a Bible used by an eminent preacher. She even brought back the dust from the shoes of missionaries who served many years in a distant land. Although she brought back these things and more, she was turned back repeatedly.

One day as she watched a small boy playing by a fountain, she saw a man ride up on horseback and dismount to take a drink. When he saw the boy playing, he thought of his own childhood innocence. But he looked into the water of the fountain and saw a reflection of his hardened face. He was overcome by the sin in his life, and in that moment, he wept tears of repentance. The young woman took one of those tears back to heaven, where she was received with joy.

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