Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace
A life renewed is a beautiful thing. New purpose. New priorities. And just a new peace and contentment. That is what you see in the life of Arthur Stace after he started following Jesus. He had become a ‘trophy of grace’.
Chapters 10-15 are so calm and refreshing compared to the turmoil of his early life. They trace the first two decades of his life as a Christian, from his conversion and the beginning of his mission to write ‘Eternity’ on the streets of Sydney, up to his decision to ‘go public’ about being Mr Eternity in 1956. In some sense the focus of the book shifts from Arthur himself to ‘the Eternity story’ - his mission to keep writing it and to, in time, let the public know it was him. To be honest, I found the pace and subject matter of the first half of the book more captivating. Nevertheless this part of book is filled with so many little vignettes of the changed life of this man - his friendship and then marriage to Pearl, his growing street-preacher ministry, the various examples of people we know of who read and were impacted by seeing that one word - Eternity - on the pavement.
I guess while they don’t have the dramatic ‘turnaround’ of the earlier part of the book, what we see in these chapters is the slow and steady work of God in this man’s life. Giving him courage. Giving him integrity. Giving him humility. Giving him the stickability to keep going out on Saturday nights to preach the gospel on George St, keep going out on Sunday night to talk with the ‘down-and-outs’ at soup kitchens and keep going out each morning to chalk the pavement. Watsons Bay, Mosman, Redfern, Goulburn, even Melbourne. He visited them all, chalk in hand.
I’m keen to read more. Keen to hear how the story ends. Keen to keep seeing this one-word-man in three dimensions - his flaws, his reaction to fame, his legacy. In other words...I’m looking forward to chapters 16-20!
Meet Annabel Nixey Annabel was born and bred in Sydney, but now lives in Canberra. She loves teaching women from the Bible. Her favourite genres are: for movies - period dramas, for books - biographies and for coffee - tea.