Wow, what a day. To tell you the truth, I went straight into meetings immediately after I arrived at work and I have been swamped every since. Now, I am involved in family stuff (hey, a wedding looms in the very near future) and that’s going to tie me up all evening.
Thus, I really don’t have time to write a post today.
So this isn’t a normal post, really. I would simply like GetReligion readers to click here and head over to the website for The Independent and read this strange, rather haunted story about a former life insurance man who has decided that his calling in life is to try to talk people out of jumping off the famous, rocky cliffs — called “The Gap” — that help define the opening of Sydney Harbour in Australia.
It’s hard to say whether or not there is any religion in this piece, which is kind of the point.
If I had more time, I might comment on passages such as this one:
Lost souls who stood atop the cliff, wondering whether to jump, say their salvation was a soft voice breaking the sound of the wind and the waves, asking: “Why don’t you come and have a cup of tea?” And when they turned to the stranger, they say his smile made them want to live.
Mr Ritchie, who lives across the street from The Gap, is widely regarded as a guardian angel who has shepherded countless people away from the edge.
What some consider grim, Mr Ritchie considers a gift.
“You can’t just sit there and watch them,” he said, perched on his beloved green leather chair, from which he keeps a watchful eye on the cliff outside. “You gotta try and save them. It’s pretty simple.”
Let’s see, we have “lost souls” finding their “salvation” with the help of a “guardian angel.”
Man, I wish I had time to comment on that.
But I don’t. It also seems that the reporter didn’t have enough time to ask this angelic figure any of the logical questions about why he does what he does and whether that has anything to do with religious faith. I guess I am strange. That’s the kind of question that I connect with these kinds of life-and-death stories about people doing noble things like this. If the guy is a total secularist, that’s interesting. If this is a religious issue for him, that’s interesting, too.
You know what I mean? So read this:
Dianne Gaddin likes to believe Mr. Ritchie was at her daughter’s side before she jumped in 2005. Though he cannot remember now, she is comforted by the idea that Tracy felt his warmth in her final moments.
“He’s an angel,” she says. “Most people would be too afraid to do anything and would probably sooner turn away and run away. But he had the courage and the charisma and the care and the magnetism to reach people who were coming to the end of their tether.”
Anyway, this is just your ordinary secular angel trying to bring salvation to lost.
If you have the time, go to the comments section and write your own post.
Sorry. Gotta go.