33. The biggest gamble ever
My mind was becoming increasingly sensitive to what I was reading and simultaneously decoding. I had been digesting articles and advertisement in the Wednesday and Saturday editions, the only editions we would buy most weeks.
My problem was that I could see the lies between the lines. It took my probing mind often days to germinate a thought. But once it had taken root there was nothing to stop me from acting. As was the case in the following episode, a minor hint I stumbled across, would have a snow-ball effect.
In the TV news and in the Newspaper I had read and heard about a nine-year old girl that was set alight in a public park in Sydney. Unlike local car crashes etc. I was not able to pay a visit to the scene to collect search out clues and check for truth. What I saw or heard on TV and Radio or read in the newspaper was my only source of information in this case.
The article appeared in “The Advertiser” on July 16th 04, page 3. It took almost the entire page. A large photo showed a policeman and three children, one on a bicycle, standing on grass and casting long shadows.
What usually alerts me first are the names mentioned. In this case I read a street name – Benham. An officer of the City Council had the surname Cannon. Yvette lived 5 houses away, David Eden lived 1 house away. A photograph of a witness named Lynne was also shown in the page 16 article. She is quoted as saying: “The ambulance people said to douse her in jugs of water every 10 minutes and that’s what I did – I must have given her 50 jugs of water.
Was somebody teasing me with the names and the 5/1 number combination? It was almost a week since I had pondered this unusual event, when I tidied up papers in my office. By pure chance I came across a map of Sydney’s metropolitan area, which happened to be folded so that the City of Campbell Town and the suburb of Minto, were shown. I did not have to look, it just fell in my lap, as it were.
Out of curiosity I read the names of the main roads, which surrounded the suburb of Minto. (Minto, of course I read easily – as My ‘n’ on the cross). I realized that I must comment on this incident to the press. I sent the following email to the Advertiser Newspaper on Monday 19th July 04.
Subject: Location, location Minto
A number of things bug me about the nine-year old that was set alight in Sydney last Thursday 15th.
One, near what street is the Park, where it all supposed to have taken place - Westmoreland Rd. Eagleview Rd. or Ben Lamand Road?
Two, why has nothing been investigated (and reported) about the clothing of the girl. Are there no standards, which specify children's clothing, so it doesn't catch fire easily?
Did the reporter, Kara Lawrence, of Sydney get all her facts right? Perhaps Kara should have enlisted the help of someone else? Often I see much shorter articles written by two, or even three, journalists.
Todays front page story about a crash with 3 people taken to hospital, receives front page coverage, (plus another photo and almost a whole page inside the paper). But a fair dinkum, hard-core crash, where a person died only a few days ago, received one small column on Page 7?
I'd like to ask Keith A. of 'Major Crash' - when is a crash a major crash? What I saw today at the corner Gordon/Partridge/Jetty Rd. didn't look major. Lots of your story today (plus the one from the Minto girl) doesn't make sense.
Dieter R. Fischer
PS Unlike other stories. the result of a football match can't be fabricated - 105:53 is straight full forward.
A football match that weekend resulted in a 105:53 fulltime score. The car crash I hinted to in above email supposedly took place on Sunday morning 18/7. A 27-year old driver allegedly fell asleep driving home in his 4-wheel drive from a Party at 11.30 am. He lost control and hit a traffic light outside a Newsagent. I doubted the whole story from A-Z. The report said an elderly man was pinned against the pole and injured. I purposely drove the 25 kilometer to see for myself on Monday afternoon. The 25 cm thick pole was bent real badly. Anyone being pinned against it, would have been dead.
I found it hard to grasp that a 76 year old was pinned against
this post and survived. It also sounded odd that a 27-year-old
driver would fall asleep in a 4-wheel-drive, while negotiating an
intersection with traffic lights on a Sunday morning at 11.30 am.
It really amazed me, how reports could be printed in the newspaper that don’t make any sense at all.
One night I awoke and listened to talkback radio. The host’s name was Dave, a radio host known for his anti-religious views. I was surprised that he spoke at great length (at least 15 minutes) to a Catholic lady. Her strong accent made it hard to follow, but she came across very sincere and strong in her faith.
When the lady caller described a supernatural phenomena, a talking statue in a Catholic Convent in Jerusalem, (if I remember correctly) Dave got rather irate with her and ended the call quite abruptly with a mild swearword that starts with ‘C’ and ends with ‘P’. (On August 13th 04 I would be having an interesting excursion, where Dave played a central role).
By then I was wide awake and phoned in to join the discussion. The first time I was cut off, while waiting to come on-air. The second time my call was successful. My intention was not to argue religion. So much time is wasted by arguing basic points, when minds are set in a certain mould. I simply wanted to ask one “life and death” question, which everyone should answer, before dismissing the existence of God.
My question to Dave, who I had never phoned before, was: “Are you a gambler?” He said: “No”, probably relieved (only for a moment) that I was not going to talk about religion. I started to explain to him (but never really got into my point), if Christianity is true – and if there is a life after death and God’s judgement afterwards - is he not taking a huge gamble to dismiss it outright? Would one not be wise to at least start an honest search and enquire to see, if there was something in it? It would make sense.
Eternity is such an irreversible, final finale, without timeframe. While on earth at least there is hope for all. Eternity without God is utter hopelessness.
Dave was obviously uncomfortable with both me and the subject. My contribution that morning didn’t go far beyond the initial question, if Dave was a gambler. Perhaps he thought I wanted to bring out the evils of gambling? In a way I did. But it was not about risking a few dollars on Poker machines, but gambling with the question: Where will I spend eternity. The attitude, ‘let’s wait and see’ is the biggest gamble anyone can take.
I felt a bit cheated, having risen at 4 am and supported Dave’s program and then left standing at first base. Out of the blue a thought struck me: The name Dave was linked with the numbers 9 and 5 in an amazing incident in my journal. It was connected to my visit to Clovercrest Baptist Church, on my 5th anniversary of the launch of my mission, which had raised me to a higher level of awareness. (Chapter 31). After finishing the disappointing phonecall to Dave, I suddenly realized that the date of my first ever talk with Dave, was 9.5.04.
In the following chapter Dave again played a central role. He would experience first hand how God’s love and power is stronger than any force in the world today.