I know it sounds outrageous, unlikely, far fetched and downright weird, but, believe it or not, Super Flash did destroy the deadly daffodils!
I know that as an evangelist, stories can take on a life of their own – creative licence to catch the attention of a captive audience etc., but this one, as far as I can remember, is absolutely true! So if you are out there Jean Springate, do get in touch. I don’t think you ever knew what impact you had on my life!
It all happened at Elm Wood Primary School in Carnac Street on the edge of the Borough of Lambeth and a mile away from my home at 31, Thurlow Park Road in West Norwood. Stepping out of the front door of my house then turning left would take us in the direction of Dulwich which was a much more salubrious area of South East London. Carnac Street was a right turn before getting close enough to Dulwich to smell the affluence, although we did venture into Dulwich Park from time to time on a special day out as I have mentioned elsewhere.
I remember Carnac Street being a long straight, wide road with Victorian terraced and semi-detached houses on both sides. It may only be several hundred metres, but when I was 10 years old, it could have been several miles long!
Jean Springate was in my class and I fell in love with her. This love was real of course, but being rather shy I never plucked up the courage to talk to her. I remember passing ‘love notes’ to her across the classroom and occasionally catching her eye. This was extremely distracting and may account for the fact that my exam results were never very impressive!
One day, during a time of extended distraction in class, a piece of chalk flew past my right ear with some velocity. “Flashman!” shouted the teacher, what do you think you are doing?!” I blurted something out under my breath like, “I’m in love with Jean Springate Sir.”
These strange new emotions of love can create powerful responses in a 10-year-old! This, coupled with the Annual Daffodil Competition which was taking place in the school at the time, made for an interesting mix of emotions. We had all been given a daffodil bulb to take home. Now 300 fully grown daffodils were being carried to school to be entered into the “Best Grown Daffodil” Competition.
The Superman Comic only went to confuse the situation even more! Let me explain.
Dreams can often be a pictorial collage of recent life experiences. When the pictures get jumbled up, the end result can be interesting, to say the least. So that night I had the following dream:
I was looking out of the classroom window watching Jean Springate walk across the playground. Suddenly 300 giant daffodils came hurtling down from the sky and started to attack her right there in the playground! Horror of horrors!
I scrambled over a few desks, making for the door, ran down the corridor then down two flights of stairs to the exit. I ran across the playground, out of the gate and stepped in a red public telephone box. Then the unspeakable happened! I started spinning around at the speed of light and when I stopped spinning, I was wearing a blue leotard and a cape. Printed on my chest was a large capital “S” – Super Flash!
I burst out of the telephone box and started to fly through the air with a giant pair of scissors and I cut off the heads of all the giant daffodils, thus saving Jean Springate from a fate worse than death!
What an impressive dream!
Here’s the real-life tragedy of this story. In my own way, as far as a 10-year-old boy could, I really loved Jean. But I never, ever, spoke to her. I was too shy.
It was a long-distance love affair.
The way many of us live our lives before a loving God. We hold Him at a distance.
It’s interesting how real-life stories can teach us deep spiritual truths.