Tinkering Heaven

The Reading Group last met on 24th November. We were concluding Melvin Tinker’s What Do You Expect?, his rather lucid commentary on the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes. That night, we considered chapters 7 & 8, entitled Getting Through Life and Age Concern, respectively. He dealt with those sections of the text describing the end of life and the infirmities of age. Later that evening, one of the group’s members, who knew the author personally, informed us that he had died, having been suffering with pancreatic cancer. It seemed oddly appropriate that that as we read his thoughts about death and pain, he should that very night have tasted the one and been relieved of the other.

I met Mr Tinker just the once. I was best man at a friend’s wedding, and his bride had been raised in the church at which he was minister. He was very nice, as well as highly organised and competent. Hull’s loss is heaven’s gain, though I couldn’t but wonder that the ailing church in Britain might have benefited from another couple of decades of his ministry. Still, the Lord made an appointment with him, which was to be neither missed nor postponed.

Last night, I read the final, ninth chapter, which the Reading Group decided we would study in our own time, allowing us a break before a new book next month. That chapter spoke of the joy of knowing Jesus, headed Life Under the Son, a play on one of Solomon’s themes. Whatever pains Mr Tinker experienced in life, or even just in the past few months, they are but a vapour compared to the pleasure he now experiences in the company of his Saviour.

A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. Ecclesiastes 7:1

Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixabay