Chapter 79

The Uncaring Daughter


I have always been interested in tramps, beggars, gypsies, deformed, ex-service personnel and the mentally ill. I went out of my way to find and help them. Behind each case there was a story and a longing to belong to someone. I was the friend of all and held them in high regard.

In beautiful and friendly Carlops, I found a sad case. Behind a large house, there was a cottage, among trees one hundred yards distant. I noticed smoke coming from the cottage chimney. With difficulty I got to the door, knocked and getting no reply, I walked in and to my surprise I saw a very ill-looking woman, lying on a filthy bed. Near a black-out fire a well-dressed woman, sitting on a stool; she was smoking a cigarette. The elderly husband of the invalid was snoozing in a chair.

'Off your backside and put on a kettle,' I ordered the young woman. I shook the old man, 'Get cracking, clean out the fireplace and warm up the room with a fire.' Both did respond.

The invalid was dying; she was very dirty. She was able to tell me there was neither tea, sugar, milk, or any eats in the house. I saw the old man had a South African medal, dangling from a watch chain, his name on it. I hurried to the manse; my wife got some food together. I phoned the doctor, district nurse, National Assistance Board and the Secretary of the Earl of Haig Benevolent Fund.

Within an hour I was feeding the invalid with soup, the fire was burning logs, the floor was cleaned. Within forty-eight hours, willing hands had stripped the bed and new mattress, sheets, blankets and pillows were put on. The invalid was washed and gowned. A new table and chairs were brought into the cleaned house, the old filthy ones, like the bed clothes, were burned outside. Crockery, food of all kinds, were provided and a home-help brought in to take the place of the overdressed lazy daughter. The old man had new underclothing, boots, suit, hat, even a pipe of tobacco. Then there was death - not the invalid, but the old South African and First World War warrior. Regimental funds paid for his funeral. He had drifted from one place to another, perhaps too proud to ask assistance. Recognition came too late; the invalid survived him by months. I also saw she was buried beside her husband and all accounts paid.

My days were too short, even in a quiet place. One thing stands as a sacred memory, the splendid response of my members to people in distress. Over fifty were helped, without fuss of any kind. The Life and Witness of Carlops' church progressed, from strength to strength, in church worship, lively organizations, good deeds and generous liberality. Like all my parishes, Carlops became an example to other parishes. Success, as we mortals measure success, was brought about by minister and people working in close harmony with God's purpose always to the fore.



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This work, Going With God, is copywrited by Ronald R. Caseby, 1993.   All rights reserved.  Used here by express permission.