"The Old Watch"
(By L. Wellington Miller)

1-28-2010 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #624
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
The Old Watch
(By L. Wellington Miller)

The night was quiet as I sat at my desk with some bookkeeping. I glanced over at the glass dome that displayed my father's pocket watch. Not that it was going to tell me the time. The old watch had stopped running after Dad died.

Dad was a fireman for the Pennsylvania Railroad in the days of steam engines, and he truly worked all the livelong day, as the old song goes. In fact, he was away most of the time, coming back for a few days once a month to collect his paycheck.

There was an uneasiness between us when he was home, since we talked together so seldom. I never found words to tell him I loved him, or that I was proud of him and his work on the railroad. I sat quietly, just enjoying his company, the ticking of his watch sometimes the only sound in the room.

The watch was a Hamilton, very popular with railroaders. It slipped easily in the small watch pocket that trousers had in those days. Sometimes I wished Dad could slip me in his pocket and take me with him on his journeys.

My desk lamp illuminated the dome, and the watch's stainless-steel case shone inside. There was a small chip on the edge of its ceramic face, broken off once when it fell to the floor. Still, it kept running. "A guardian angel looks after this watch," Dad explained. I knew better.

Dad spent an awful amount of time looking after it himself, winding it twice a day, an elaborate process which he allowed me to witness. It was like time stopped for a while. If the hour needed to be reset for some reason, my dad would put the palm of his hand over the crystal faceplate and unscrew it from its case. At the two o'clock position on the edge of the ceramic face was a small lever that had to be pulled up. Once done, he set the correct time by turning the stem. When the lever was down and covered, he could wind the watch.

Dad retired in the 1960s. He became ill soon after and was hospitalized. I visited every day. We were mostly quiet, as always. He kept his faithful timepiece on the nightstand, but it didn't run well anymore. Dad was too weak to take care of it.

On the day he died, I picked it up. It was no longer ticking. That seemed right somehow. Later, I bought the glass dome to display it. I never took the watch to a jeweler. I figured I wouldn't know how to maintain it anyway.

That night, sitting at my desk, I felt sorry I had never told Dad how I felt. "Why, God? Why didn't I find a way to tell him?" I dropped my head into my hands.

Something startled me. I heard a ticking sound, and looked up. It came from my dad's watch. Impossible. I slid the dome closer to the desk lamp. The second hand moved. The watch was running again. Almost as if Dad had heard my thoughts. As if he had heard my thoughts even when I was a boy, and knew I loved him.

Perhaps a guardian angel did look after Dad's watch, and after me.

Pastor's Quote of the Week
It was in recognition of this that Jesus, in speaking of the children of the heavenly kingdom, said: “Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones, for I say to you, their angels do always behold the presence of the spirit of my Father.”
(From: The Urantia Book - Paper-113 Section-1)

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Thank You for Angels… both Spirit and Human.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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