Doug Tales 12: A Lot of Scuffs

“How Doug Mendenhall lived his life” was the topic of Denver Snuffer, Jr.’s observations at the funeral service for Doug on December 29, 2020.

Denver’s remarks and those of the other participants at Doug’s memorial services that day in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, are online at “Doug Mendenhall Memorial Recording” (February 8, 2021), and printed in Conquering Spiritual Evil Blog Posts 2020 (2021). Denver’s comments are on pages 567-568:

I’m grateful for the opportunity to come and participate in this. I appreciate very much the comments that have been made. One of the things I really loved about Doug was his smile.

It—to me—always looked slightly guilty, like he had just stolen a cookie, and I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss a lot about him.

I got a random call this morning from a Hawaiian living in Canada on an Indian reservation. He said, “Can you talk?” and I said, “Yeah, I’m driving. I’m going down to Mount Pleasant to Doug Mendenhall’s funeral.” And he said, “Oh, I love that guy! You tell the family that Rob Adolpho loved Doug Mendenhall.” I was looking at the program for the funeral and they list the relationship that people participating have to Doug, and the category “Friend” outnumbers the category of different family members. That’s exactly how Doug Mendenhall lived his life.

People who are wealthy in this world fear continually the loss of their wealth, because the more wealth they have, the more they realize it can be lost. It doesn’t matter how much wealth you accumulate. Really wealthy people are the most fearful about the wealth that they have. But there is another kind of wealth that is secure, and stable, and eternal, and that’s the wealth of having friends. When you have friends, you know that there’s never going to come a time when someone won’t step up to give aid when it’s needed.

Stubbornly, Doug wouldn’t ask for aid when he needed it—so it required the spirit to intervene and to inspire people to do so. Doug never asked me for help for himself, but he had no hesitation at all to ask for help for someone else. And so, I had the privilege—I assume Doug did a great deal of this anonymously—of helping him put shoes on missionaries, and coats on missionaries, and suits on missionaries, and get wisdom teeth removed from missionaries, because there was always a need. Doug was looking to fill that need, soliciting. For all I know, many of you here got benefited by Doug’s generosity, because he would solicit from friends on behalf of other friends, but he wouldn’t solicit for himself.

I had a watch that gave up the ghost after 25 years. It’s the only kind of watch I ever wanted to own, and they stopped manufacturing it. So I had to find a way to replace it. You carry a phone. Everyone’s got a clock in your car. You’ve got a clock on your phone. There’s a clock on the wall. There’s clocks everywhere. There’s only one time I really need a watch, and that’s if I’m giving a talk. I like to have a clock I can look at, to see how long I’ve spoken and be courteous about getting out of there. It’s a pocket watch. When it arrived, it had a little plastic thing stuck to the front and the back. When you peel it off, it’s just so shiny and pretty and stainless steel and not a mark on it. I carried it around for about a week before something else in the pocket rubbed on it and it got a scuff. The scuff on it was so noticeable—it just bothered me. When I looked at the watch, the only thing I could see was this scuff on the darn thing. I’ve been carrying it for months now. As it turns out, everything will scuff the surface of stainless steel. But over time, when there are enough scuffs to the metal, it all turns into this mosaic that looks just as finished, and even more interesting, than when it arrived at first looking like a mirror.

Doug Mendenhall had a lot of scuffs on him before I ever met him the first time, and his countenance reflected that. He had a patience for people. He had a wisdom and a way of carrying himself that reflected the graciousness of having been scuffed, and having been belittled, having been dismissed, having been misunderstood by people throughout life. Doug had a wealth of friends and I’m happy to say that I’m one of them. He came to participate and listen in today. He’s not in the box, but he is here, and I think he’s slightly embarrassed by the crowd that came, and even more so by the group listening in from a distance. But Doug was a man who loved others.

Misunderstood and dismissed by a lot of people, but my word! If a Hawaiian living on an Indian reservation in Canada on the morning of his funeral can remark, “Oh I love that guy! Tell his family I loved him,” then the family should rest assured that his life was one that was, is, and will ever be filled with love. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.