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Rated: E · Essay · Emotional · #2233310
A man of character
Kindness of the heart- Father Hartlein

I met a man a ton of days ago who managed to teach me some very valuable lessons concerning the world around me
They were important lessons, ones that I hope shall carry me a lifetime
As I sit here on this fine Sunday afternoon, in my middle age comforts, all pondering and reflective
I acknowledge that these lessons were not learned in a typical classroom.

They were subtle learnings, as subtle as the breeze that kisses your ear upon passing
My educational model was molded by this crafty man out of faith, hope, integrity, and most assuredly love.His teaching tools were all things that surrounded him, the air that carried his words, his eyes that displayed the vision for us all, and the heart that motivated a flock

There were the traditional sermons of Sunday mass or the occasional weekday gospel teachings for the kids.
Father had a unique way of turning the gospel into relevant statements for our daily lives
His spin on the word of God was his attempt to offer a restful haven from our struggles
There were some days that I didn't quite grasp the message, but it turns out that in itself was a lesson
You see, I know that with every breath that he took and every deed he committed, Father was teaching me.That by opening my heart to God, any burden I carried, any evil I faced, any insurmountable hilltops ahead, there is a restful peace found in him

Laughter, was another opportunity for Father to teach life's lessons
Father had a contagious hearty roar when laughing
There was the ceremonial mischievous twinkling of the eye and raising of the brow
It was a belly jiggling glad to be alive roller coaster ride
If you had ever experienced it, you knew that it meant Father was in the house
Father was well known in our little community for being a teller of jokes
He had a gift for bringing the story to life and involving the listener
At the tail end of his joke came the laughter, then it was music
As much as Father liked telling a joke it was equally as fun to watch as he listened to a joke
His eyes glistened with pure joy as he plotted ways to embellish the current story for when he would relate it later

Laughter is an essential element needed for reaching out to others and sharing the beauty of life
Father knew that strong beautiful bridges were often built from laughter
Allowing us to come together despite our differences and human frailties
One may argue that laughter affords no life lessons
But I say that it is the simplest form of joy that one can know

Hugs, huge warm bear-like embraces that encircled the heart
Were another of Fathers life lessons and his personal trademark
It mattered not your age, both young and old alike were snared by Father's hugs
If Father deemed you in need, you soon found yourself wrapped in the warm cozy cocoon of Father's armsThese were quality hugs, ones that offered healing, security, comfort and love
For that 3 second commanding clasp, Father was able to convey a calming peace and exuberance for life

Father's embrace, as a Sheppard gathers his sheep, were a friendly welcome into the flock
Hugs such as these, given on a daily basis, would make the world a much less lonely place



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