If there is one person I miss from my boyhood it is our doctor, Old Wilky. He was an ex-army doctor and could be blunt. Nance our chapel cleaner had an earthy sense of humour which she tried unsuccessfully to hide with an assumed prudishness. One day she went to see Wilky because she had acute stomach pains. He told her to go home, she had nothing wrong with her that a good fart wouldn't put right. "Dirty old man", snorted Nance, but she loved to tell the story.

Wilky's surgery was in the neighbouring village of Hartest. We didn't have to make an appointment. You just turned up during surgery hours, stepped down into a narrow sunken room, sat on a cheap wooden chair and waited your turn. Wilky loved to see his waiting room full. One summer I spent many days clipping the conical yew trees in our chapel graveyard. It was a dusty job and most of it got into my eyes. Eventually one piece of grit worked its way in further than most and I had to cycle down to Hartest to visit the doctor. Eventually Wilky called me into his consulting room. "What's the matter with you?" he asked.

"Dust in the eye, doctor", I replied.

He looked at it. "I can see it is inflamed", he said, "but I'll soon put that right". He began to ferret about in one of his drawers. He pulled out a match.

"Good grief," I thought, "surely he's not going to poke about in my eye with a match". He didn't. He used the match to roll up my eyelid to reveal the eyeball and remove the offending particle of grit. I was so impressed!

Some years later my father came down to breakfast in a very scary condition. He had been failing for several months. I decided there and then to drive him down to the Hartest Surgery. I was well known to Wilky by then. He was always pleased to see me. That day was no exception. "What can I do for you today", he said, smiling.

"I've brought my father down to see you, doctor", I said.

As I spoke my father slowly stood up. Wilky turned to look at him and his face dropped. He looked aghast. He knew at once what was wrong with my father. I knew in that instant that it was something very serious. But I knew something else, too, that was a great comfort. Old Wilky had shown that he cared. And he did - he cared so much. He told me that my father had Parkinson's disease. A few weeks later, because of something that I read, I returned to his surgery and queried his diagnosis. He did not take umbrage. He didn't argue with me. He made no disparaging remarks about people meddling in what they didn't understand. He said quietly, "You would like a second opinion? That's all right. I'll arrange it." He did. Of course he was right. He took no pleasure in being proved right and made no disparaging remarks about my foolishness. He realised I loved my father and he cared about us both. I miss him very, very, much because no doctor since has cared for me like Wilky did.

God cares for us. Peter writes: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1Pet5v7. So often the knowledge that God cares has been my only comfort.