Posts Tagged ‘Our God Given Gifts’

The Last Leaf

This O Henry short story portrays a disheveled old painter who lives alone. He admires two younger sisters who live above him on the third floor. He longs to be appreciated by both the sisters and the local gallery. So far he has had little success.

One of the sisters becomes deathly ill. Her will to live is gone. From her bed she can see a tree next to the brick building across the street. It’s early winter; most of the leaves have already fallen. One day she decides she will live as long as the leaves last. For days, the sisters and the old man keep a close eye on the tree.

The day comes when there is just one leaf left. A winter blast is moving in. And with the wind whipping at the leaf, there is not much hope that it will survive the night.

By morning, the attention turns to the curtains. Reluctantly . . . they are opened. But somehow, the last leaf is still there. And just like that, the will to live is back.

Outside, a crowd gathers around the tree – wondering what possible explanation there could be for this old man to have been out in such a storm.

One final look at the leaf . . . as the twig separates from the brick wall.

(The Giver gives gifts and talent . . . ours to develop; His to determine their purpose.)


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