Connie is behind the counter at Whit's End when an elderly stranger walks inside. He asks to see Whit, who is absent at the moment. Connie offers to take a message, and the old gent gives her one: "Operation Digout." Connie, of course, can barely contain her excitement. Finally, Whit returns, and once Connie has delivered the message, he tells her the story behind it, which once again involves Leftenant Reginald Duffield.
In a flashback, Reggie and young Whit are assigned to help land several transports of soldiers on the strategic island of Rubaku in Guadalcanal - an island held by the Japanese. The night before the invasion, Whit and Reggie discuss spiritual issues. Reggie is a nonbeliever but is intrigued by Whit's faith. The two make a date to discuss the matter over tea when the war has ended.
During the battle, Whit and Reggie both exhibit immense bravery, risking their lives to make sure the transport they're on arrives intact. Once the soldiers are on the beach, Whit takes his bravery a step further. He shields Reggie from an incoming shell and gets severely wounded. He wakes up in the hospital with a large gash in his leg and the upper part of his right ear missing, thanks to the shrapnel from the shell. His commander tells him that Reggie stopped by to see him while he was still unconscious and left Whit a message about a date for tea. Whit smiles, and we return to the present.
Whit takes a drive up to Trickle Lake, where he meets up with the former Leftenant Duffield. They have tea, and Reggie tells Whit that the seeds of Christianity he planted so long ago took root. For the last 25 years, Reggie has pastored a church in a little English village. The two old friends relive old times and catch up on each others lives, marveling at how God works in the lives of His people.
- Lt. Duffield asked young Whit if he was a “war-time convert.” What does that mean? Do you know anyone who was a “war time convert”?
- Duffield marveled that Whit had been a Christian since he was a youngster. When do you think a person is old enough to become a Christian?
- Reggie said that the seeds of faith Whit planted when they were young led Reggie to the Lord. Who could you share your faith with today?
Heard in episode
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
|John Whittaker (young)||Jim Custer|
|Reginald Duffield||Parley Baer|
|Reginald Duffield (young)||Nathan Carlson|
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
Mentioned in episode
|Harold Whittaker||John Whittaker|
|Fionna Donneral||John Whittaker|
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The broadcast version of this episode begins with Chris in the Garden and Greenthumbs Center. She comments on the many flowers and asks Mr. Thornbottom about his secret for growing flowers.
- This episode tells the story behind the wound in Whit's leg and the missing upper part of his ear — items that were included in the first description ever written about Whit.
- Young Whit references his salvation experience, previously heard in #49: “Thank You, God”, to Reginald Duffield in this episode.
- Paul McCusker's wife Elizabeth, a native of Great Britain, assisted with the accents in this episode.
Reginald Duffield: Four hands are better than two, what?