Excerpted Inspirations #39
[The Dean of the Cathedral has struck up an unlikely friendship with Isaac Peabody, the local watchmaker.]
"'And no doubt as a boy you hated God as much as you hated your father,' said the Dean calmly. 'But all your hatred, Mr. Peabody, God took into His own body that it might die with Him. You are now free of it.'
"'I don't believe in God,' said Isaac obstinately.
"'I wish I could believe you,' said the Dean. 'I should be thankful to believe you had parted company with the God of your boyhood. But I fear He is with you still in a darkness that shadows your mind at times. Disbelieve in Him, Mr. Peabody. Believe instead in love. It is my faith that love shaped the universe as you shape your clocks, delighting in creation. I believe that just as you wish to give me your clock in love, refusing payment, so God loves me and gave Himself for me. That is my faith. I cannot force it upon you, I can only ask you in friendship to consider it.
I believe I have your affection, Mr. Peabody. You are aware I think of how deeply you have mine.'
"Isaac surreptitiously dried his eyes and began to feel a little better. The last sentence was the only one he had really got hold of, the only one that had really done him any good."
-- Elizabeth Goudge, The Dean's Watch (1960), pp. 303-304