Saturday, 6 May 2017

God in heaven is my portion!

There was a poor man whose pious parents left him no heritage save an honest name and a good, God-loving heart; now although in this he had riches without measure, yet the world accounted him poor.

It went well with him at first, but by degrees, he tasted trouble. He lost the small fortune he had succeeded in saving by dint of work. And the people pointed to him sayingPoor wretch!

No, not poor, he said; God is my portion!

But misfortune pursued him. Most of his so-called friends turned their back on him, and those even whom he had trusted most proved faithless. He was deceived, calumniated, misjudged.

And people shook their heads sayingHow wretched and miserable you are, to be sure!

No, he said, though his voice trembled, not wretched, for God is my portion!

But the greatest trouble of all now laid him low; he lost his loving wife, and soon after his only child. The suffering man stood alone in a heartless world.

Again the people said, shrugging their shouldersSurely now you will own yourself miserable and wretched, a very butt of trouble!

No, he cried, repressing the welling tears, God is yet my portion!

And the people turned from him, saying he was singular and strange, and nicknaming him John Comfort in virtue of his peculiarity.

But he, truly, was not wretched, nor indeed forsaken. The last words he was heard to speak on earth wereGod in heaven is my portion!

And he entered into the joy of his Lord.

Letters from Hell, L. W. J. S., Richard Bentley & Son, London, 1889