My Dad's best friend lived across the street. Big man. Heavy. General insurance broker. Born in the northland (Burk's Falls)...moved to the big city. College football enthusiast. Time-keeper with Dad at many a Western Mustangs football game. Daily morning "coffee club" partner. Fishing buddy. Cottage enthusiast.
Bill was about ten years younger. He died years before Dad from complications with pneumonia. His funeral service was ministered by a friend who gave an honest-to-goodness Gospel hope message. His son and daughter, Bob and Janet handled the reminiscences admirably.
"Wully's" favourite expression in a wide variety of circumstances was "Mercy". That was it. No embellishment. But the way he said it invested it with mystery and respect.
He was a fair-minded man with a big sense of humour. Coming from him "mercy" sounded like something good. But I never heard him express a Gospel message or allusion. His life's message had an impact on me and suggested time and again the concept of mercy.
Listen to Jesus bawl out the religious formalists of His time:
23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.