Monday, July 16, 2007

Cod and God: A Fishy Story

The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians Of Edinburgh, June 2007 published a biographical article on missionary Dr. Wilfred Glenfell- Cod And God: Dr Wilfred Grenfell in Newfoundland

Under a veneer of effortless amateurism, he was competitive beyond his capabilities, energetic to the point of mania, egocentric and immature. In spite of all this –maybe because of it – he transformed life for thousands of people and for generations to come. Impossible to work with, his personal charm, charisma and enthusiasm brought people flocking to work with him. He was the antithesis of a team player yet spent his life in the service of others.

There was room for only one project in his life but that one received his absolute and undivided attention. He had a relaxed attitude to religion, despising the sectarianism which he saw as divisive and destructive. At the same time, he compared himself to Jesus Christ ,a
fisher of men who worked among the poor and dispossessed. He was a physician, surgeon, magistrate, explorer, missionary, lecturer and writer. More than all these things, he was a social reformer – some might say a revolutionary, an agent for profound change who delighted in taking the old order, established for 400 years, turning it upside down and giving it a good shake. He provided far more than just medical care or education. He gave back to the disenfranchised control of their own lives, empowering them to make a better future
for themselves.


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