A Surprise for Roy

Roy Hartzler

Roy Hartzler’s wife Lois and their daughter Cindy alerted Roy’s friends that he was about to have his 80th birthday and asked us to try to surprise him in a way of our own devising.  (I am limited, so I have chosen this way to surprise him.)

Recently I taught a Sunday School Class and remembered a book on inductive Bible study that I no longer possess.  In the appendix of the book there was a story of a scientist named Agazzi, a student  and a fish.

Jean Louis Agazzi (from a Popular Science Magazine in 1910)

This took me to the computer on a google search. Imagine my surprise to find many links to the old scientist and a youtube lecture on the scientists’ life and legacy. I don’t think that Roy will be surprised to learn that Agazzi was an opponent of Charles Darwan, and believed that each human race was the result of a separate creation by God and that God made white people superior to brown and black people. To listen to the lecture click here.

I was surprised to learn those things about Agazzi, but I doubt that Roy is surprised.  I know Roy because he is my brother-in-law but I know him better because I am with him and Lois in the Borderlands Sunday group at College Mennonite Church.

Roy is seldom surprised.  He has taught science at Bethany Christian School for many years.  The scientific method has lead him to be very selective in what he claims to know.  He doesn’t know what cannot be observed and replicated as I understand him. Much about religion cannot be known, and I admire him for knowing it.  I like that he seems to know so much more than I do, and that new information seldom surprises him because he already knows it.

I think he may be surprised that he is eighty years old.  He is just ten years behind me, and he will never catch up to me for both of us will continue to get older one day at a time, Even our dust will get older and perhaps be changed into something other. Neither he nor I know the future

Roy, I am grateful for the times that you and Lois took me with you to Krady reunions. And I enjoyed that side trip to visit the beautiful valley in which you were born and reared.  As I recall, you bought some special bologna or cheese in a country store that was a part of your memory. I believe we visited a Hartzler cousin who had the reputation of being a family story teller.

Thanks Lois and Roy for being a part of my life.  Rhoda and I, and Joyce and I enjoyed being guests in your beautiful country home. I hope this blog both surprises and pleases you.  It is presumptive of me to write it. Please add a comment for anything that needs correction or clarification.

The one Roy Hartzler
knows so much yet knows little
allows mystery



About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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1 Response to A Surprise for Roy

  1. SaraAlice Zimmerly says:

    Interesting lecture. My sister and I remember being a little frustrated with asking our dad how to tell the difference between several breeds of cows (no dairies in south Fl that didn’t have Holsteins) “well, you look at them”, he’d say. But just what were you supposed to look for? At Goshen, Dr. Stanley Shenk gave one of his Bible classes a page called “Agazzi and the Fish”. It described students being given a fish to write their observations of for a week – the same fish all week. It was humerous and challenging. It showed me that if you keep looking, there will likely be more to the picture. This could relate to scientific observations AND to understanding people/students/friendships around me. In other words, look again and be patient. The next step after observation can be “what do we do with this data?” Given God’s Word, how are we to act now, to paraphrase one of the New Testament writers.

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