As I was thinking about people in my life who have lived as resurrection people I was reminded of one of my favourite books Pied Piper by Neville Shute. I have been recommending it for 30 years. It is a delightful story that starts in a London club during an air raid in WWII. An elderly gentleman whom everyone has written off useless to the war effort starts to tell his story.
Just before war broke out he was in Austria and was asked to accompany some children back to England. As they travel war breaks out and they are forced to flee first by train then walking, across worn torn Europe. They are bombed, captured by Germans and almost killed on numerous occasions but manage to escape. As they travel they attract more children, some orphans, some friends and relatives of people they meet. By the time they reach England there are 12 – 15 children clustered around their elderly leader.
This story always reminds me that there are often incredible stories hidden inside the most ordinary and unassuming of people. God’s new world is not built by the rich and famous superstars but by men and women like this who accomplish extraordinary deeds of heroism, generosity and compassion in ordinary life situations. I have known many such people in my life. Margaret and Ian Murray with whom I lived when I first moved to New Zealand are an example of people like this. They supported and encouraged so many of us who were floundering to find ourselves in our twenties…. yet I am sure that none of you have ever heard of them. Bernice and Clarence Oshita whom I met in Hawaii when the Anastasis was stopped for a year undergoing repairs are others. They faithfully picked up a group of 3 – 6 of us from the ship each Sunday, took us to church and then took us home for lunch. Incredible hospitality that I will never forget – God’s resurrection people in ordinary guise.
Who comes to your mind – a resurrection person in ordinary guise?