My grandfather was deeply religious and was known in our village for his genuine belief and authenticity. His knowledge of the Bible was incredible; he often hosted visitors from the church to discuss religious topics, and his views were taken very seriously on board.

One day, my grandfather was summoned to court as a witness, and the clerk presented him with a Bible to swear on. The judge intercepted and told the clerk that it was unnecessary as the man in the witness box was purer than the judge and everyone in the courtroom. His devotion to Christ commanded respect from people of all religions and walks of life.

I always felt deeply connected to my grandfather. I often listened to his explanations about Christ’s teachings and tried to learn from him, although I struggled to be sensible as an adolescent. He saw in me more than I saw in myself, and I wish I could have known him at my present age to appreciate him truly. The days went by very quickly, and eventually, I ended up in boarding school, and on my last visit to my grandfather, he gave me this advice:

“Stay away from bad friends, Garo and be good; be yourself.”

I should have heeded the warnings, but I did not. I mixed with the wrong people and ended up drifting away from the person I was, but that is another story for another day. Consequently, my life became an endless turmoil, and the root of all my present issues was the wrong choices of friends I made. However, I always stayed close to my grandfather and loved and respected him, even when I moved away from the Light into the shadows.

I was devastated when he passed away. He was such a big part of my life that I did not realise how much of my heart he occupied until he was gone. Before his passing, he told the family that he had seen a vision but would not talk about it. The family went through his belongings, and in his Bible, they found my photo of me and a little hand-scribbled note. It was a Bible verse from Joel 2:28

“And afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”

I understood the message he was trying to convey when I connected my photo to the Bible verse. I awoke from my stupor, came to my senses, and thus began my journey from the dark into the Light. It was time to answer to my true calling and be the person my grandfather saw in me.

We may see ourselves as hopeless and lose our way, but there is always someone around us who cares for us, is wiser, loves us regardless and sees us for who we are. You may not know them, but it does not mean they are not there.

(The photo is of me with my grandfather)

Merry Christmas to all of you.

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