Dr. Maxwell Maltz was an American cosmetic surgeon and author of Psycho-Cybernetics, which is a system of ideas that he claimed could improve one’s self-image leading to a more successful and fulfilling life.
He tells a powerful story that gives us a powerful glimpse of love and generosity.
A man was burned and disfigured from a fire while attempting to save his parents from a burning house. Despite his best efforts he couldn’t get to them and they died in the burning house.
He mistakenly interpreted his pain as God’s punishment.
After his recovery, the man would not let anyone see him—not even his wife.
She sought out Dr. Maltz, a renowned plastic surgeon, for help. He told her not to worry. “I can restore his face.”
The wife was unenthused and refused that offer. Her husband had repeatedly refused any help. She knew he would again.
“So, why are you here?” Maltz asked.
“I want you to disfigure my face so I can be like him! If I can share his pain, maybe he’ll let me back in his life.”
Dr. Maltz was shocked. He denied her request but was so moved by her love that he went to speak with her husband.
Knocking on the man’s bedroom door, he called loudly. “I’m a plastic surgeon, and I can restore your face.” No response. “Please come out.”
Again there was no answer. Still speaking through the door, Dr. Maltz told the man of his wife’s proposal. “She wants me to disfigure her face, to make her face like yours in the hope that you let her back into your life. That’s how much she loves you.”
There was a brief moment of silence, and then, ever so slowly, the doorknob began to turn. He let her in.
The way the woman felt for her husband is the way God feels about us. That is the power of the manger and the generosity of Christmas. We are called not only to receive it but also share it. Just like the wife did. How can you share your life and light generously today?