A friend told me the story of “Helga” and “Sven,” a Swedish couple who traveled to New York City. They were unsophisticated travelers, and when their friends learned where they were going, everyone warmed them about crime in New Your. ”Don’t ride the subway; watch out for cab drivers, ” they said.
But the Swedish couple arrived safely, got to their hotel, and even went on a few guided tours. They had a few days free, but they didn’t want leave their hotel room because of all the terrible things that could happen out there.
One day they were running short of refreshments, since room service too expensive for their budget, Helga decided to take her life in her hands and go to the corner store. As she got on the elevator, a huge man came in with a huge dog. The man was the leader of a rock band; he had a huge head of hair, well-worn jeans, and chains around his neck.
Helga was petrified; she stood in the corner of the elevator shaking as the doors closed. All the warnings of her friends came back to her mind. And here her worst fears has walked right into the elevator with her.
The dog was curious about Helga and moved over to her. He began sniffing her dress, as dogs do.
“Down,” the rock musician commanded.
The dog got down on the floor. And Helga got down right beside him, her hands over her head.
The rock musician began to laugh. He laughed until tears streamed down his face. He was still laughing as the elevator doors opened and he walked across the boggy in to the street.
Poor Helga was so scared she got off the elevator on her hands and knees. Finally gathering he courage, she stood up and went to the corner store. When she got back to the hotel room, she was too embarrassed to tell Sven what happened.
For the next few days, every time the couple went down to the hotel dining room, the whole rock band was there. As soon as Helga walked in, the entire group started to laugh.They laughed until tears ran down their faces and they finally had to leave the dining room. Sven wondered what had happened.
Mercifully, the day came when they could check our and return home to Europe, back to sanity. Helga and Sven went to the front desk to pay their large bill, but the clerk said, “Your bill’s paid for. And here’s a letter for the lady.”
The letter was from the rock musician.
“”Thank you so much,” he had written. ”I have never laughed so much in my whole life. But I realize we embarrassed you, and to make up for this I am paying for your hotel room. We wish you a happy journey. Thank you for the joy and laughter your brought to us.”
This was the journey of the Swedish couple to New York City, where they learned that fear sometimes can be overcome by love. Because as the musician began to laugh, love came into his heart. It also came to the Swedish couple when he was able to give the gift of love back to the women who had inadvertently opened his heart.