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Mr. Tweedle

We first met Mr. Tweedle a short while after his wife died. To make a bit of extra money he invited a young couple to come and live with him and those people, members of our church, eventually brought him with them on Sunday mornings. I don’t know if he was a believer or not. He had some sort of Christian background, but did not seem to be too serious about his faith. Plenty of people talked to him about it and he had ample opportunity to learn about the Lord in church, but I have no idea if he ever gave his life to the Lord or not.

Mr. Tweedle had been a motorcycle dispatch courier during the Second World War and had developed a love of motorbikes. He loved being alone on the open road. His wife did not share his enthusiasm and he was forced to give up his bike when they married. But mere days after her death, though he was well into his seventies, he bought himself a new bike. It wasn’t the biggest or fastest bike around, but he loved it.

The church we attended at the time was unaparalleled when it came to hospitality, and shortly after Mr. Tweedle began attending, they made sure he had people to visit whenever he wanted. Pretty soon he began to move through a rotation of families where every week or two he would visit a different family after church. Services were at 9:30 with the “evening” service at 3:30, so he would often come over for lunch or even just for coffee after the morning worship service. Being a polite fellow, he realized he should bring something along each week for the people he visited, so he constructed a little wooden box on the back of his bike, and each week he would bake a “butter tart” pie (there was probably a better name for it, but if so it escapes me) and put it in that box. Whichever family had him over that week would, of course, get that pie. Those pies were absolutely delicious. If he stayed for lunch, he would eat and then find a couch to lie on and within minutes would be fast asleep as he caught a few “z’s.” We would then head over to church and he would catch a few more during the afternoon service.

One spring Mr. Tweedle decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and ride his bike around Europe. He first drove all the way down the East Coast of the United States to catch a ship that could take him over the Atlantic. He told us later that for a good bit of the distance a Hell’s Angels troupe accompanied him, delighted to have found such a neat old guy still out riding his bike. He spent the summer travelling through Europe on his bike, seeing the sites and no doubt reliving many memories of the war.

Shortly after that we moved and I never saw Mr. Tweedle again. Several years ago he died, and I can only hope that he went to be with the Lord. I was priveleged to know such a genuine and interesting person and I do hope that He came to know Jesus as his Savior. He is an inspiration to me for the sheer vigor he showed for life – not being willing to give up on his passions and dreams even though old age had come. I do hope that some day we can sit down in heaven and maybe share in one of those pies he made so well.

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