“Suffering had merely tempered his beautiful heart…”

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Walking along the Venetian harbour, I felt at ease. The sun cast its radiant glow over the blue water lapping against the yellow sandstone walls. A lone man selling sea sponges on a boat swayed gently in the water. From early morning to late afternoon, he would be ply his trade. Despite scarce sales, he was blessed with a radiant smile full of joy. I was drawn to this man with whom I struck up a friendship. Harris, a veteran sailor settled long ago on Crete where he raised his family. Amidst adversity, suffering had merely tempered his beautiful heart. In this man, I sensed a deep sense of humility and serenity despite enduring hardship. One day after a heartfelt conversation I looked into his warm brown eyes full of love for life and uttered solemnly “May God bless you and your family, and may you forever trust in Him”. Harris responded with a sad smile of conviction. “And that’s the greatest gift that one can ever wish for in life”. I have never forgotten this man dear to my heart, and his memory manifests eternal words of truth and wisdom, that pierce my soul. The truth that, he who is totally dependant on and lives a life of love for God lacks nothing, though he may be materially poor for he inherits grace from the source of life itself Christ Jesus and thus is truly blessed.

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