It really wasn’t much of a visit: I went to only three buildings out of dozens that I passed by. First, I went to Old Main, where my daughter has her office. She teaches Spanish Linguistics and Medical Spanish and she invited me to lecture to one of her classes today.
The second building was the Moody Library, which my daughter pointed out some distance up the walk and beyond a number of other famous buildings whose names I can’t remember. The library was where I spent most of my time, so I’ll return to it later.
It is not that often that I have to go to a wedding, so today was a notable day. Every other wedding I have ever gone to has been with my wife, but today was different. She was at another meeting so when I returned she wanted to hear my story.
This is what I remember—it may not be entirely accurate, but it will have to do. Two weeks ago at our weekly men’s Bible study—there are about 14 of us who regularly attend—one of the men, a newcomer named BD announced that he was going to get married in two weeks and that we were all invited.
When you are a “substitute” you have a temporary job filling in for someone who has a regular or permanent one. For some reason the regular person can’t do the work, so the call goes out for a substitute.
We have probably all experienced substitute teachers at school. They are generally unprepared and nervous and the students take advantage of them.
During 1969 and 1970 I substitute-taught at a high school in Pennsylvania. We were on furlough and I wanted to supplement our income before we returned to Papua New Guinea. I had no teaching experience at the junior high or high school level, but I decided to apply for the job anyway. Substitute teachers are often hard to find, so they hired me.
It was on a Saturday, the 100th day of the year, that some church authorities believe that John the Apostle was ordained as Anitpas, the bishop of Pergamon. It was on April 11, during the reign of Nero. There is even a tradition of oil being secreted from his relics and Saint Antipas can be invoked for relief from a toothache or diseases of the teeth.
While that may be of some historical significance, what I am about to relate is of personal and on-going consequence because, on April 11, 1959, Joice Franklin gave birth to a son, Kirk James Franklin. He came, but the placenta didn’t and the doctor was worried about infection so he gave Joice massive shots of penicillin. The placenta eventually came but so did a serious reaction to the penicillin. Both her arms suddenly gave birth to large, hard, red, bumps and clumps, hot and annoying. The doctor told her she was allergic to penicillin and should never have it again—nor drugs that contained the same substance.
Have you ever said “save me a seat” to anyone or, perhaps, told someone that you would “save” a seat for them? It is a polite thing to do, even if others are looking for a seat and find you “saving” one. “Is that saved,” they will say? as they point to the empty seat. You will quickly throw a coat or program over the chair to show that it is really “saved.”
Now, first of all, forget the semantics. Even though you are at a Baptist church (pronounced Babdist in Texas), the chair is not “saved” in the same way that a sinner is. It is simply reserved or promised as a standby for somebody else.