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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Tender Mercy and Goodness of God - a Testimony

William Shakespeare is famed for his writings of theatre plays, for example, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and many others. This is a fact which is accepted by the vast majority of the population. But on one BBC television programme, The One Show, a general discussion forum where diverse topics are covered in every region of the UK, the presenters focused on the opinion of several academics who deny that Shakespeare was the writer of these plays. They even attempted the use archaeology within the writer's home town of Stratford-Upon-Avon to add proof that their opinions were correct.

William Shakespeare

Personally, I didn't buy any of those academic opinions. The reason is rather straightforward. William's father, John Shakespeare, was a glove maker. In other words, what we would call a factory worker today, working class, blue-collar. How could his son have developed such a literacy talent?

According to these academics, he couldn't have done. Plays such as Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Winters Tale and Romeo and Juliet were, to them, all written by some other person whose parents were a lot more cleverer. And a few very unconvincing bits of relics were found in the archaeological pits to substantiate the opinion of the skeptical academics.

On a somewhat different story but based on the same principle, according to a Daily Mail newspaper report, two female contestants on the University Challenge BBC2 quiz were mocked and severely criticized by mostly male viewers using the Facebook page on the Internet. Having not watched the programme myself, I cannot tell whether the two academic women were on the same team or whether they were even on the same programme. But that is not the point. Rather the point being that they were both harassed on the Internet for being snobby, intelligent and too full of self-confidence, according to their critics. Reflections of inferior complex or lack of self-esteem?

But to be fair, the Reader's Comments which appeared under the main article mostly defended the harassed females. Only a small minority upheld the critic's messages posted online, and they were red-arrowed with disapproval.

And then, looking back, I also recall the murder of Stephen Lawrence one evening at a South London suburb. Lawrence was black, and going by his images, he had that look of intelligence and promising of a good education. The images proved correct. He was studying to be an architect. Then, while waiting for a bus at a stop on the evening of 22nd April 1993, five white English men first threw verbal abuse, then they crossed the road to stab him to death. A clearly racist murder. Personally, I'm not fully convinced that colour alone was the one and only motive. Rather, the victim oozed high intelligence, and the five white men having sensed this all felt their self confidence were under threat. Really, there was no real difference between this case and those of the two females on University Challenge where motives were concerned, the only difference was that one case led to a serious crime, the other two were not considered to be criminal victims.

My own belief that the secondary reason for the Stephen Lawrence murder might have been motivated by a sense of inferior complex, seem to be endorsed by the case of one of the killers, Gary Dobson, who was jailed for five years in July 2010 for drug dealing. The other four, I think, were either jobless or held manual occupations, a good indication of low level of education or low academic abilities. So the very thought of a well educated black man was anathema to them.

But where is the connection between this information and the title of this article? Well, I hope to demonstrate how good and merciful God has been to me over the years, despite the prejudices I had to go through, and to show that what God has done for me he can do for you, if only you will diligently search and ask for his wisdom.

The pinnacle of God's mercy: The Crucifixion

If you read my Blogger profile, you will see that I don't give my nature of occupation. That is because I am a Domestic Window Cleaner, who goes about dressed in casuals, as my profile pic indicates, and not of an elderly gentleman dressed in a suit, wears glasses and sport thinning hair! Among those who know me well, they may think, So what? You love writing, keep up the good work. And yes, I have actually received such encouragement! This shows the value of true friendship.

But others may think: A window Cleaner? How can such a person know anything, let alone writing these articles? Unreasonable? Not what I know of.

And my answer: I allowed the Lord Jesus Christ to work in my life.

Here I begin by stating that at school I received the annual report which stated, Frank tries hard; Standard below average. This was an indication that my poor performance at the classroom desk was not my fault, therefore the report I handed personally to my parents did not merit any form of punishment.

And that applied to every subject, including the subject of General Science, with which at the end of the 2nd academic year, I've literally received 100/100 marks on the exam papers and became the talk of the school.

But I remained in the slowest learning class, in which I was constantly teased by one annoying pupil who was one grade above me: Who is in the dunce's class for science?

After leaving school in 1968 with no qualifications to show, my working life has always been manual. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but I feel that it's a crying shame that here in England, the general mentality is that if one had failed at school, nobody expects or even desires for him to work himself upwards. A manual worker not only stays a manual worker (again, nothing wrong in that) but any thought of self-improvement of his mental capabilities seem to be frowned upon. Could this be because it poses a threat?

Here are a couple of classic examples. The first example being back in 1992, the elders of Ascot Baptist Church, where I attend to this day, gave me an opportunity to give a talk on what Heaven might be like, based on the description found in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. Now at the front row sat Keith, a "devout Englishman" who always condescended on my Italian origins. His sense of national superiority was not unique. I have came across this sort of thing many, many times - among my clientele and fellow church members alike.

After the talk was over and as such, the service as well, Keith went around literally bragging that he had not heard a single thing I was saying at the front. Instead, he said he was deliberately diverting his thoughts away by indulging in some other subject, most likely in his case, football and particularly England's hopes in the next World Cup contest.

The second example took place in 1997 and it was in a very much the same environment, giving a talk about my travels, and bringing up the idea on why in California in particular, there seem to be an obsession with alien life from other planets. Toys, ornaments and inflatable models and balloons of these life forms were on sale just at about every second shop along the street. I then theorised that there might be a connection between this obsession with alien life forms and end-times Biblical prophecy. The issue here was not whether I was right in this matter or not, but rather one man in the congregation, also with the name Frank, suddenly standing up and declared aloud for all to hear, that he too had seen these model life forms on sale where he was, and my description of them was spot on. He then declared that my possible interpretation was worth thinking about.

Afterwards, I asked him why he stood up and made such a public announcement.
He replied that during the talk, he overheard a couple of people sitting behind him mutter words to the effect,
What does he know about the Bible or prophecy? He's just a window cleaner!

And oh yes, I have just remembered another incident which took place in 1989, which I think is worth recording here. It concerned something which occurred at Bracknell Baptist Church. What the incident itself was, I can't recall, but one of the elders asked me to write a report on it, because of my involvement.

When I presented my written work to him, he plainly asked me who wrote it. It took some convincing that I was the author. Meaning: The standard of the written document was above my standing for me to be the author.

God's mercy. In 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Paul the Apostle specifically states that God chooses the foolish in this world to confound the wise. On similar lines, James instructs not to pay higher honour to the rich man on the expense of the poor man dressed in rags (James 2).

I became a true believer early in 1973. I am convinced that there has been a change in my I.Q. at this turning point in my life. I was immediately interested in the Bible and what it had to say on everything.

I went to a Christian bookshop next to St. Paul's Cathedral in London to stock up books which will help me understand the Bible better. But in the Bible itself, particularly in the Old Testament, I noticed that God was referring to Jerusalem more than any other city in the ancient world. I also noticed that Jerusalem was the place Jesus Christ was crucified, then he rose again near the city, and the first Church began in Jerusalem. I also noticed that this same city played a major role in future prophecy, namely, that Christ is to reign from there in the future.

So in 1976 I decided to visit the place for myself, to see it first hand. I went as a sole backpacker. The details are recorded in one of my former blogs, Jerusalem, City of Peace which was published here on Sunday 13th February, 2011.

Visiting Israel in 1976 was a wonderful experience which added strength to my faith. Then in October 1992, a friend and I had a massive row one weekday morning while I was at his home. The worst thing about it was that I knew that I was in the wrong. So I started window cleaning at a nearby street feeling very dejected. It was at this low point when I had what could be called a vision. I was to go to Jerusalem to pray for the city.

But was this from God? First, the vision came suddenly, quite unexpectingly. Then up to this time I always made enough to live on reasonably well, but I was never able to save up for a proper holiday. From that very week onwards, I found myself saving up quite steadily, allowing me the ability to pay for the entire holiday plus all the other expenses without any difficulty. Then I took off from Gatwick Airport early August, 1993.

What I found amazing was that it should have been my friend who should have received the vision, not me. He was in the right, I was in the wrong. But while I was in Jerusalem, I felt God speaking to me about why the Islamic Dome of the Rock stood where the Temple once was. Alongside this, I watched the crowd of Jewish people celebrate the start of their Sabbath. It was such a thrilling experience. I just felt the pulsating presence of God in the enclosure, which fronts the Western Wall. These Jews were God's ancient people. Their presence in Jerusalem showed me how faithful God was to his people. And if God was so faithful to the Jews, how much more will he be to us? Also I found myself sharing my faith in Jesus at the hostel I was staying at, after being asked by one backpacker why I was in Israel. By the time I had finished talking, I found myself the centre of attention among the other backpackers.

Damascus Gate, Jerusalem

Reading the Bible and books to help me understand the Bible also not only helped in my faith, but by reading both books and the newspaper, I slowly learned how other authors composed their articles, so when it comes to writing myself, I can use some of their techniques. But on top of this, I felt that God himself was teaching things direct to me without human intercession. That means I had answers in my thoughts concerning things I was asking especially in the book of the prophet Daniel, which contains visions the prophet had about the bigger picture of God's revelation to mankind.

This was because for a long time I had a desire to know what is the bigger picture was about. In other words, how did it all begin, why we are here, how would it all end, and why will it end in the way the Bible says. And why does Jerusalem play such a large role, and my visits to this city made such a massive impact on my life, especially on the spiritual.

But on the day-to-day practical side, when things are up, I can thank and praise God for. But when thing become trying, God is there I can trust, and run to. I have suffered some trying moments in my life, and a close friend of mine, who already knew much of what I went through, exclaimed,
I am surprised you have not committed suicide! I would have done!

He got distracted before I could explain that I know of the sovereignity of God in my life and with a degree of peace in my heart, I can ride over all things. God is not only my Saviour, he is my Rock, my Strength and Shelter.
Although this has not happen so far in my life, but it could: Suppose I was to lose everything I had, would I still trust in him? Would I still be thanking him for eternal life and for all the goodness, I have received from him? I hope I will be able, then again, it would not be of my own effort, but the infilling of the Holy Spirit in my life.

And this is the key to everything. I'm writing here to all true believers in Christ who is reading this. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and let the love of Christ flow in you richly.
May God bless you richly.


  1. Frank, I am sometimes looked down on here because I don't dress as fancy or live a s high as more popular pastors. It only indicates the lack of spiritual development of many in churches today that they exhibit such prejudices. As I Corinthians 1:20-31 points out God has deliberately chosen those who don't have such qualifications so he gets the glory rather than the person. The prejudice is typical of the ungodly. Some of the greatest scientists of all time were disparaged because they had no formal training. It didn't prevent their discoveries.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  2. "But others may think: A window Cleaner? How can such a person know anything, let alone writing these articles? Unreasonable? Not what I know of.
    And my answer: I allowed the Lord Jesus Christ to work in my life."

    God gets the glory when He does the extraordinary through ordinary people with handicaps. Moses was a stammerer and had anger management issues; Noah drank too much; Abraham was a liar; Elijah was prone to depression and discouragement; Jonah was rebellious; David was a shepherd and committed adultery; Esther was a Jewess who found favor in a kingdom where antiSemitism prevailed, etc., etc. My husband is 64 and I am 58, and one of our ministries involves competition theatrical dancing with overhead lifts, using this forum to bring a Gospel message and music to a largely unsaved audience. In the natural, this could never have happened, because most of our competitors are in their 20s and last only 2-3 years because of injuries. But God has blessed us to do this to His glory since we were saved 11 years ago, even though we were considered to be too old even then. I take comfort and inspiration from Hebrews 11:11: "Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised." Praise God that He does mighty works through us despite (and because of) our limitations! Frank, I am blessed by your blog, will follow it, and invite you to follow mine, "Saved by Grace" (