St. Helen

A Lesson for today from Saint Helen

You Are Never Too Old

No matter how old we are most of us will remember our youth. Physically we were at our prime and it seemed that the world was our oyster. There was a strong tendency to look at anyone older as being "past it" with very little to offer. It is not for nothing that there is a car sticker which reads "Hire a teenager while they still know everything".

I don't think I will ever forget, as a young curate, sitting in a service where the vicar had decided to interview various members of the congregation so that they could speak about their walk with Jesus. On one particular morning it was Percy Pavitt's turn to share something about his faith. Percy lived in the local Alms Houses, having spent most of his life as a Painter and Decorator. Here, as best I can remember, is what Percy said that morning.

"I get up about 6:00 a.m., get dressed and make a cup of tea, and then I read my Bible and pray for about an hour. I then have my breakfast and walk across to the paper shop for my Daily Paper. I don't want one of the cheap papers, I want the news so that I can pray over what is happening. God really cares about His world and we should as well. I don't know of any better way of showing I care than spending time in prayer."

When asked what time he finished his prayer time, Percy said it was usually between 9 and 10 O'clock, it just depended on what God was calling him to do. There was a beautiful gentleness about Percy that has remained with me for almost twenty years, but there was more to come. The reading that morning was from Philippians and Percy was asked to read. I sat in awe as Percy started at the chosen verse, went through the reading and stopped at the right place, whilst standing at the front of the Church with the Bible nowhere near him. Percy knew the whole of Philippians by heart.

I never found out how much of the Bible Percy had actually learned, but I suspect that it wasn't a little. What I knew for certain was, that morning I had heard one of God's saints speaking about his love for Jesus, and that testimony touched the depths of my heart. I also learned a valuable lesson: you are never too old.

Please read:
Genesis 7: 1-12; 12: 1-4
Luke 1: 5-20; 2: 21-38

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