Dick Hunt's Blog

October 26, 2011

Two In The Morning!

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 6:08 pm

Two In The Morning!
by Dick Hunt, October 26th, 2011.

 

At a Bible Study this morning, I recalled an incident (I call it a God Incident) which occurred about 1960 in Stettler, Alberta which was quite moving and shareable.  J. B. Philips, a Minister in the Church of England had just published his New Testament Translation called ‘Good News For Modern Man’.  I had been able to buy case lot’s of 50 at $2.00 per copy and was making them available at my cost, hand delivered.  I had dropped one off to a retired jack of all trades called Archie Fleming as I was on the way to a meeting. After my meeting I went along home and soon off to bed.

At 2:00 AM the phone rang and I expected that it would be a request for emergency help, a fairly common ‘in the night-time’ occurrence.  But this time it was different.  Archie was on the phone and quite excited.  He said, “Dick, listen to what St. Paul Did” and he read me a passage from one of Paul’s Epistles.  Then another passage and another and another. After about ten minutes I managed to get him to pause.  I said, “Archie, do you know what time it is?”  He said, “and listen to what St. Paul did” and he was off again.

Archie was a regular reader of two books;  one was the King James Bible  and the other was the work’s of the Scottish Bard, Robby Burns. And now he was launched on the New Testament For Modern Man which was why I couldn’t get him to listen to me. But finally I did get him to understand it was 2:30 AM and that he should mark his place in the book and get some sleep. Pansy, his wife had been long in bed and asleep. They were at that time around 75 years of age. Pansy was one of our spare organists, Church Treasurer and a firm friend of all the Parish Priests, of which I was the most recent. When Archie decided to do something in the Church, he was passionate about getting it done.
One day he phoned me and said he  had discovered that the Town owned a building on the main Street, which had been a clothing store, with a suite above it. The store was for rent and he had talked with the Council and received their approval to allow it be used as a Senior Men’s drop in center at minimal cost, subject to certain conditions. We were to find the necessary furnishings, a coffee maker etc. and take full responsibility for the operational costs and security.  That, we undertook to do and we advertised our plans.  We each took one side of the Main Street and by the time we met again in an hour or so, we had offers of all the furnishings and equipment we needed.  So we announced the first meeting day and a good number of seniors turned up, eager to meet and visit and drink coffee and eat cookies and play crib etc.

We formed a small committee to take responsibility for the operation and activities and it quickly became a focal point for men who had been wanderers up and down the streets for years, since they had retired.  Many of them didn’t have hobbies but those who did recruited numbers of those who didn’t and their lives were enriched all around.  The one senior who didn’t make us of the facility was Archie Fleming, who , at the age of 75 said, ‘they can be old men if they want but I won’t’, and he went out to find other dragons to slay.

The next really big change in Archie’s life was when he finally turned up his toes and I am sure slipped easily into the Community of the Saints in heaven.  And that was an event for which he was well prepared and for which J. B. Philips, the Translator and author of “Good News For Modern Man” had helped significantly to prepare Archie for his final journey.  We make a grave mistake when we write off the Bible as of no importance for our so called “Modern Age” because ‘science has all the answers, or “money and stuff” will satisfy us’.  The answers to all our needs are found in the Bible, God’s Book for every age.

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