Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Charles Darwin I never knew.




The Great Malvern Priory in Worcester,it was to be.


David Webster was preaching .The beautiful structure which Dr Richard Lewis ,a colleague  and my host

so poetically calls , ‘the most beautiful building’, lofty,  aged and  elegant, stands high in the morning sun

even as the bells toll ...it makes me want to tilt my head and just listen ...the sound I sincerely believe, is

heard in heaven because it calls sinners like myself to commune with the eternal God.


The Lord speaks,He affirms and He upholds as usual in a simply profound message the missionary doctor

from Africa shares.
 
When I was leaving Worcester in 2005,Richard and Anne had given me a copy of 'The shimmering heat'-

a book by the good doctor on his life in Afr

I got to see him in person and like all great men he was unassumingly  simple.

On the other side of the road beyond the cathedral ,is a beautiful hillock with benches ,trees ,green

grass and the cemeteries.

I climbed the hill to  enjoy and soak the beauty of the place.


One cemetery in particular was attracting a host of tourists with cameras.

I let them pass and when they had gone I clambered down the hill to read the edifice.


It was a cemetry of an eight year old child.What caught my attention was the name,the surname  of the

greatest  athiest that ever was.

Anne Elizabeth Darwin was neatly carved on the tombstone .it was dated in the 1800's

I called Dr Simon  another colleague  over and his exact reaction was,'but it couldn't be!’.

However , it was.


David Webster told us the story.


Anne Elizabeth Darwin was Charles Darwin's eight year old daughter who unfortunately contracted

tuberculosis.


Malvern was famous for it's spas  then.


With the hope  that the spa might give his little child the much needed rest and healing , he brought his

daughter to Malvern.It did not.

The daughter passed away. Charles Darwin grieved the death of his daughter gravely .



 He walked away from the  funeral service that was arranged in the great Malvern Priory and he never

looked back.


I would like to believe that It was not the theory of evolution ,as people might naturally presume, but

grief ,that cost him his faith in God.


Almost two centuries later ,the faithfuls in Malvern Priory have planted tiny yellow flowers  around the

grave.

In that beautiful green park with the sunlight waltzing it's rays through the tree,the lawn and

benches...those are the only flowers amidst the rows of other cemetries of young and old from another

era  altogether.


The yellow flowers bravely,bobbing it's head and standing up in the church premise ...

as if to say ,’ I am home,I am happy ,I am allright  daddy’.

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