Tag Archives: Ron the former miner

James Herriot

In James Herriot’s vet book, “The Lord God Made Them All”, he tells this story:

He was once called out on a particular Sunday night to a couple’s home some ten miles away – to look at their dog.

When he got there, the wife of the family invited him into a shabbily furnished room, one end of which was partly curtained off.

She drew back the curtain and introduced her husband whose name was Ron. Ron was in bed, a skeleton of a man with hollowed out eyes set in a yellow looking face.

“That’s the patient” she said, pointing to a dachshund sitting by the bed, “He’s gone funny on his legs; he can’t walk”

The vet was struggling all this time with irritation for being called out on a Sunday for a case which could easily have waited a couple of days or have been brought to the surgery.

Then Ron said, “I were a miner.  Roof fell in on me.  I got a broken back.  Doctor says I’ll never walk again”

 and after a pause, and in a husky voice, he continued, “I count my blessings. I suffer very little and I’ve got the best wife in the world”

The vet couldn’t help wondering what those blessings were – the wife, obviously, the dog who provided companionship when his wife was out, and the marvellous view across the Yorkshire Dales where he used to tramp for miles.

That was all…but that was enough.   By then the irritation had seeped away.  Driving the ten miles home across the Dales, he felt very humble

Remember the old hymn:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

 Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic