In His Steps
“He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked.”
Edward Norman, editor Of the Raymond Daily News, sat in his office room Monday morning and faced a new world of action. He had made his pledge in good faith to do everything after asking “What would Jesus do?” and, as he supposed, with his eyes open to all the possible results. But as the regular life of the paper started on another week’s rush and whirl of activity, he confronted it with a degree of hesitation and a feeling nearly akin to fear.
He had come down to the office very early, and for a few minutes was by himself. He sat at his desk in a growing thoughtfulness that finally became a desire which he knew was as great as it was unusual. He had yet to learn, with all the others in that little company pledged to do the Christlike thing, that the Spirit of Life was moving in power through his own life as never before. He rose and shut his door, and then did what he had not done for years. He kneeled down by his desk and prayed for the Divine Presence and wisdom to direct him.
He rose with the day before him, and his promise distinct and clear in his mind. “Now for action,” he seemed to say. But he would be led by events as fast as they came on.
He opened his door and began the routine of the office work. The managing editor had just come in and was at his desk in the adjoining room. One of the reporters there was pounding out something on a typewriter. Edward Norman began to write an editorial. The DAILY NEWS was an evening paper, and Norman usually completed his leading editorial before nine o’clock.
He had been writing for fifteen minutes when the managing editor called out: “Here’s this press report of yesterday’s prize fight at the Resort. It will make up three columns and a half. I suppose it all goes in?”
Norman was one of those newspaper men who keep an eye on every detail of the paper. The managing editor always consulted his chief in matters of both small and large importance. Sometimes, as in this case, it was merely a nominal inquiry.
“Yes – No. Let me see it.”
He took the type-written matter just as it came from the telegraph editor and ran over it carefully. Then he laid the sheets down on his desk and did some very hard thinking.
“We won’t run this today,” he said finally.
The managing editor was standing in the doorway between the two rooms. He was astounded at his chief’s remark, and thought he had perhaps misunderstood him.
“What did you say?”
“Leave it out. We won’t use it.”
“But “ The managing editor was simply dumbfounded. He stared at Norman as if the man was out of his mind.
“I don’t think, Clark, that it ought to be printed, and that’s the end of it,” said Norman, looking up from his desk.
Clark seldom had any words with the chief. His word had always been law in the office and he had seldom been known to change his mind. The circumstances now, however, seemed to be so extraordinary that Clark could not help expressing himself.
“Do you mean that the paper is to go to press without a word of the prize fight in it?”
“Yes. That’s what I mean.”
“But it’s unheard of. All the other papers will print it. What will our subscribers say? Why, it is simply–” Clark paused, unable to find words to say what he thought.
Norman looked at Clark thoughtfully. The managing editor was a member of a church of a different denomination from that of Norman’s. The two men had never talked together on religious matters although they had been associated on the paper for several years.
“Come in here a minute, Clark, and shut the door,” said Norman.
Clark came in and the two men faced each other alone. Norman did not speak for a minute. Then he said abruptly: “Clark, if Christ was editor of a daily paper, do you honestly think He would print three columns and a half of prize fight in it?”
“No, I don’t suppose He would.”
“Well, that’s my only reason for shutting this account out of the NEWS. I have decided not to do a thing in connection with the paper for a whole year that I honestly believe Jesus would not do.”
Clark could not have looked more amazed if the chief had suddenly gone crazy. In fact, he did think something was wrong, though Mr. Norman was one of the last men in the world, in his judgment, to lose his mind.