LOVE wears many faces. Nowhere is this clearer than in the following story, sent to me last week.
James Crane worked on the 101st floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Centre in New York.
He was blind so he had a golden retriever guide-dog named Daisy.
After the plane hit the tower 20 floors below, James thought he was doomed, so he let Daisy go out of an act of love.
She darted away into the darkened hallway. Choking on the fumes of the jet fuel and the smoke, James was just waiting to die.
About 30 minutes later, Daisy came back leading James' boss, whom she had found on floor 112.
Daisy then led James, James' boss and about 300 other people out of the doomed building.
But she wasn't through yet. She knew there were others trapped inside.
So against James' wishes she ran back into the building. When she emerged again, she was leading 392 people to safety.
Again she went back in. During this run, the tower collapsed.
When James heard about the collapse, he fell on his knees in tears, fearing the worst.
But against all odds, Daisy had made it out alive, although this time she was carried by a firefighter.
"She led us right to the people, before she got injured," the fireman said.
Her final run had saved the lives of another group of 273 people.
Daisy suffered acute smoke inhalation, severe burns on all four paws, and had sustained a broken leg.
But this remarkable dog had saved about 965 lives.
Daisy is the first civilian dog to win the Medal of Honour of New York City.
Clearly, this is an inspirational story with a terrific message.
Not only does it warm the hearts of all animal lovers, but serves to remind us all that real, selfless love has no limits.
Paul reminded the recipients of his first letter to the Christians living at Corinth:
"Love never gives up; loves cares more for others than for self; love doesn't parade itself; doesn't have a swelled head; doesn't force itself on others; isn't always 'me first'; doesn't fly off the handle; doesn't keep score of the failings of others; doesn't smirk with satisfaction when others are forced to seek forgiveness; love takes real pleasure in grace-full truth; love puts up with anything; trusts God always; always looks for the best; never looks back - but keeps on going without ever running out of steam".
Does anyone have a better description of selfless love?
Daisy the guide-dog surely embodied these qualities and provides us with a great example of an unswerving commitment to others.
Wouldn't it be great if we all modelled our attitude to others on Paul's words - and on Daisy the guide-dog?