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He said he had gone down to take his written drivers test for renewal. He picked up a test at the counter and was directed to the testing area. While marking the answers, he came to a question that he didn't understand very well. So he took the driver's study booklet out of his inner coat pocket that happened to be with him.

Eddie Anderson

 

Eddie Anderson was the volunteer minister of visitation at the church I attended for several years.  No wonder he had the job.  He was kind and engaging and in his 70’s.  He also had an honesty and innocence about him most of us lack. And, at the midweek prayer meetings, he smoothly led us from one chorus to the next and gave a short testimony or two along the way.  Also, on Sundays, he introduced the visitors to the congregation in his personable manner.

I was the church janitor and sometimes he would drop by during the week. Instead of parking his white Cadillac in the parking lot in the back, occasionally he would leave it running in the church's single lane entrance and slip on into the office close by.  But if others couldn't get in on occasion because it was blocked, I guess he paid for it, because he locked himself out of his car every now and then while it was running.

Eddie told me one reason he got to be financially well off was because he was nice to people.  When he was a young man, for example, a lady with a business near his said, “Eddie, I am going to sell my store someday, and when I do, I want to sell it to you for a good price because you have always been kind to me.” Well, when she finally put it up for sale, he was able to buy it for that good price. I guess it went that way a lot for him and he had become a successful businessman.  And in his retirement years, he could be seen walking around downtown Riverside checking on his investments.

Eddie was always busy it seems, and for thirty-some years, he called on visitors and regular attendees to befriend them.  As a matter of fact, he took me out for lunch several times and told me about himself and things that went on behind the scenes at church. Once he smiled and informed me that a hundred pigs had given their lives to save his because only one pig out of a hundred had a good enough heart valve to replace the one in his chest.  Even though he would joke about it, he also made the serious comment that he had the valve for seven years and wasn't going have it replaced, though it was wearing out.  You see, it bothered him to hear that old pig valve squeaking as he silently lay in his bed at night.  (I think he really heard it, too!)  He also said his wife was going to be well taken care of after he was gone so he wasn’t worried about her.

After decades as the volunteer minister of visitation, the church insisted he receive some kind of pay for the job, and I think that was because of liability concerns.  He was against it, and, of course, the few token dollars he received was nothing for a rich man.  But he took it, nevertheless, so he could still visit.  He also didn't like going to the board meetings any longer because, he said, they were filled with unchristian like behavior, and, what some might call, board members vying for the position of church boss. Even the pastor said he could hardly wait to retire, get away from board meetings, and do the work of the Lord instead. I wonder whose work was going on at the board meeting if it wasn’t the Lord’s work?

As mentioned, Eddie had a tremendous honesty and innocence about him. One night at the midweek service, he told this story on himself…

He said he had gone down to take his written driver's test for renewal.  After picking up the test at the counter, he was directed to the testing area, and while marking the answers, he came to a question that he didn't understand very well.  So he took the driver's study booklet out of his inner coat pocket that happened to be with him, and as he thumbed through it, he came to the place in regards to the test question and proceeded to mark the right answer. Then, after putting the booklet back into his pocket, he finished the test, turned it in, and happily found out he had passed.

However, on the way home, Eddie felt uncomfortable about taking the little helpful peek, and drove back to the licensing office.  And as it happened, he was able to talk to the same person he had taken the test from and confessed.  He also added he didn't want anything to come between his Lord and himself and wanted to make things right.  Well, I suppose the testing agent never had this situation happen to him, and he had to go and refer to someone else's judgment.  Upon his return, Eddie was informed that the test results had already been put into the system and to forget about it.  I remember as a new Christian I was very touched by Eddie humbly telling this story some 32 years ago.

 

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The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen