John Herbert Wesley
Once there lived a man, John Herbert Wesley by name. He was not a big man, nor and important man, nor even an overly intelligent man. This man was quite simply a simple man and I think that is alright. This man lived in a small house with his wife and three children, away from Chausable, the nearest village, but not so far away that he was not a part of the town. He chose to interact with the good people of Chausable when he felt so inclined, and when he did not, he did not.
When I said that there was nothing special about John Wesley, I was not quite honest. Wesley did have one thing about him that was so uncommon that it left many of the people of Chausable without idea of what to think or say about it, and this incongruence was that no matter what happened Wesley always smiled. No matter what went wrong, rain or storm, Wesley always skipped joyfully around the town as if that day were singularly the greatest day of his entire existence. It was a day like this that our story begins.
A farmer by trade, Wesley had every right to be distraught on that cold day of November 22nd, 1598. It has been a scarce harvest and Wesley was facing the prospect of a miserable winter. Still, “A beautiful day it is,” said he to Fredrich Herse as he paid far too much for a new warm blanket for his children.
“’T’is not,” said little Suzie. She was a very pretty young girl with far too big a mouth for her own good, or so her mother always told her.
“But it is, young lady, have you not seen how beautiful the trees are outside? They have all changed color you know.” Suzie seemed to ponder this for a second.
“Even so, I do not think it is so good a day,” she said seriously. John just smiled and led her outside. It was cold, but two snow birds still sang their winter song together. A thin layer of snow blanketed the village and a light breeze ruffled Suzie’s hat so that she clamped her hand over it to keep it on.
“Everyday is a beautiful day, Suzie,” explained John Wesley. “All you have to do is step outside and listen to the birds or the flow of water or even the tiniest breezes. Everyday has potential. It is up to you to discover it for yourself. Happiness is not dealt to you like a set of cards, it is a choice.” At this, Suzie smiled. Though she did not understand it all, she liked the sound of that. John’s eyes twinkled as he again led little Suzie back inside. “But it is cold. Come inside before you catch a cold. How much do I owe you Mr. Herse?”
The transaction was interrupted by a banging at the door. “John Wesley?” shouted the soldier that now stood in the doorway.
“Over there!” said John Wesley, pointing towards Fredrich Herse with a playful grin. You see, with John all things were a joke in some way or another.
“You are under arrest sir, for the harboring of a spy,” said the guard in his overzealous way to the wrong person.
“A spy!” Interjected Mr. Wesley before Fredrich could even put in a word in his own defense. “I have done no such thing.” The guard looked confused.
“Even so,” he said to neither of them in particular, “I must arrest you for the time being.” John Wesley sighed, maybe ever so slightly irritated, and complied.