With this post I wish to make a public apology for statements I made about the Rev. Robert Deasley, who had pastored the Church of the Nazarene in Rimbey. His son Stephen commented on my blog and pointed out where I had misrepresented his father. Rather than trying to paraphrase him, I will present his comments verbatim.
I read with bemusement your remarks about Rev and Mrs. Deasley and feel that some additional information is required. I spent my formative years in Rimbey as Rev Deasley and his wife Lillian were my parents. My father was born in Dundee, Scotland and at the age of 14, went to work in a jute factory. It was there that he lost his left arm in a gruesome industrial accident. He learned to adapt to his new reality and lived a perfectly normal life in spite of the challenges that involved. Many people whom he met were not immediately aware of his loss unless someone bothered to point it out. Most people were above that. He did not have a large mole on his chin and although one of his ears was somewhat deformed, it was not the focus of his physical presentation. My father enjoyed a healthy inter-action with the children of the church and loved to tease them and regale them with stories. While children and adults alike had a healthy respect for my dad, to say they were terrified of him is grossly overstated.
I remember very well when my father stopped the service to castigate two misbehaving youths. I know this because I was the cause of said pause and although consequences were forecast, dismemberment was not one of them. I can attest to that. The “I’ll come down and chop you up” comment occurred in a completely different context than the one you mention and was understood to be uttered in jest. It is true that while my father’s direct method of communication would sometimes result in an uncomfortable silence punctuated only by self-righteous sphincters snapping shut like muffled gun shots echoing across the sanctuary, those admonitions were delivered as necessary pastoral corrections, not the ruminations of a “crusty, one armed Scotsman”. I find it curious (disappointedly so) that you chose to focus on his physical challenges and non-existent facial defects when you chose to describe him. If you had met him, you would have known better.
My father and mother had a very close, loving relationship throughout their married life. My father would rise every morning at 5:00 a.m. for his morning devotions and prayer and then make a cup of tea to take into my mother before she got up. He would never have dreamed of stooping so low as to try to “teach her a lesson”. In fact, my mother never ever removed her wedding band for any reason and certainly would not carelessly leave it lying about as you state – again incorrectly. There was another piece of jewelry that he sequestered for safe-keeping and then forgot where it was, and it was never recovered.
After reading Stephen’s corrections, I wrote him a note of apology, and received this very gracious response.
Thank you for your gracious reply to my comments. I appreciate that no offense was intended, nor was any taken, from your blog which referenced my parents and their ministry in Rimbey. My intention was to correct the misrepresentation of my parents that resulted from the confluence of folklore and facts. It would be no small task to accurately portray the colorful personality of my father without ever having encountered him.
The inaccuracies and mischaracterizations contained in the blog need to be addressed and corrected. How you choose to do this, and whether you reference any, all or none of my comments I will leave to your discretion and trust that Holy Spirit will guide you accordingly.
I accept your apology on behalf of my parents. For my part, no forgiveness is necessary as I understand the motive and intentions were pure and I harbor no umbrage as a result of your statements.
With the freedom that comes from having my indiscretions forgiven, I post this public apology to the family of the Rev. Robert Deasley.
That is exactly the way the Christian church should behave. Thank you to the two brothers who were able to demonstrate how forgiveness in the body of Christ works. This lesson, though unintentionally taught, is invaluable and may well become an illustration in the future without naming the parties involved. Well done. What is most important when we fall short is not what we have done, it is what we do next. We cannot enter our past, but forgiveness mutes it stinging song and paves the way for healing.