Arthur Stace was a loser, a no-hoper, and an alcoholic. Shortly after becoming a Christian, he heard an evangelist – John G. Ridley, thunder out the words, “Eternity! Eternity! Oh, that this world could be emblazoned across the streets of Sydney!” And that is what Arthur Stace did.
Even though he could not read or write, he left the church that night, took some yellow chalk and bent down and wrote the word on the footpath. And throughout the night, and early morning, for the next 40 years, while Sydney slept, Arthur would take his chalk and write, in immaculate copperplate script, the word ‘Eternity’ on footpaths, entrances to the train stations, and anywhere else he thought it would catch people’s attention.
For a long time his identity remained a mystery and he was referred to as “Mr Eternity”, until the press tracked him down in the late 1950s. He continued his unusual ministry long after he retired as a hospital cleaner. It is estimated that he wrote the word some 600,000 times.
“Eternity” is a little-used word today, but it reminds us of another world beyond this one and of our ultimate appointment with death and beyond.
When we think about the implications of Christian discipleship, what a remarkable tribute Arthur Stace is, to what God can do with a “one talent” person who is available and committed to Him.