October 25

Written by Bill Grandi on October 25th, 2022

Have you ever heard of Thomas Barnado? No? Well, I think it is time you did.

Thomas Barnado entered the London Hospital medical School in 1865, dreaming of life as a medical missionary in China. Barnado soon discovered a desperate need in his own front yard-the many homeless children living and dying in the streets of London. Barnado determined to do something about this horrendous situation. Developing homes for destitute children in London’s east end, Barnado rescued some 60,000 boys and girls from poverty and possible death. Theologian and pastor John Stott said, “Today we might call him the patron saint of street kids.”

Barnado is obviously an example of someone who put feet to his faith.

But what gets to me even more is who the recipients of his faith in action were. Children.  He became a person of refuge, one who sets up place of refuge for children.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge once wrote, “Friendship is a sheltering tree.” I spent time yesterday with a friend. We rode 17 miles on our bikes, mostly talking. (As Jo would say, “Imagine that.”)  He was gracious to slow down his pace for this old man (he is 47…I am not). 🙂 And then when a hill loomed in front of us we went for a short bit then he graciously turned around when I told him I’d had enough.  There is still a definite lack of strength after the back surgery. Maybe another day, another time, but yesterday was not that day or that time. 🙂  I told him it was the fist time, except when I rode with him a little over a month ago, that I have ridden with another person is easily two years.

I miss the friendship. It has continued but distance prevents a more constant contact. I miss the conversation. I miss the camaraderie.  He’s doing well in many areas of his life. Other than excelling in his walk with Jesus, he is really doing super at being a sheltering tree.

How about you? Are you someone’s sheltering tree?


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Your tree has sheltered me as well. And your tree is much taller than mine 🙂
    I continue to enjoy our friendship and now our occasional bike rides. May they continue to grow.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Ryan. And yes, my tree is much taller than yours. 🙂 I look forward to, Lord willing, more rides together.

  2. gail says:

    I have a friend that I would have never thought I would be their sheltering tree, nor would I have volunteered for the job. God had a different plan. It’s a great story, I would love to share with you sometime. I do not have enough room to go in to all that now. There was a point where I said God, I am not equipped for this, and his answer was basically you can ask for help but you cannot quit. God taught me many lessons in being a sheltering tree that I am for ever grateful for. God’s plans always yield learning on both sides. We serve an awesome Father, who truly does know best where, who and how, we can best be used.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I would love to hear the story some day Gail! And I am glad that you did not shut God out on being someone’s sheltering tree. That shows you are available.

  3. What a perfect example of friendship you have modeled here, Bill! I’m sorry I’ve missed so many of your blogs recently; we are almost home from a very long trip to see family. Worth every mile we traveled. I will be blogging about that soon.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Martha. Ryan is a real friend. I’m glad you had a great trip. Now you can go home to relax. LOL