Let us share a story about Del

Tomorrow is World Storytelling Day – a global celebration of oral storytelling – and for our contribution Marsha Johnson, Spirit in Action Coordinator for 12 years, shares a story with us about Del Anderson. If you have stories or memories of Del that you’d like to share, leave a comment or email me.

an older Del Anderson

Del Anderson

It was a moment of awe.  Del Anderson and I sat close beside one another at the computer table in the library of the assisted living facility that was his home.  The occasion: to present Spirit in Action’s new-born website to Del, Spirit in Action’s founder.

Think of it!  Such a time warp.

The San Francisco earthquake, April 18, 1906.

Del’s birth three months later, in San Francisco, July 17, 1906.

And now, almost ONE HUNDRED years later, in 2005… Del and I are close in front of a computer, a very, very new-fangled invention in his experience.

This is a man who had never even used a typewriter because, as he said, his hands are just too big. “Big hands” was also the reason that he was unable to pursue a profession of his early choosing, to become a dentist!

Del was a passionate communicator through regular phone calls, often to elders and shut-ins, and through hand-written letters packed to the maximum weight for the given postage with beloved tracts and small slips of paper containing copies of this favorite spiritual quotes and verses. And to his international correspondents, he often included a five or ten dollar bill to be used “as God guides.”  I expect that many of us who are part of Spirit in Action gratefully remember those precious parcels. (If you never received the precious blue “Seed Thoughts” booklet from Del, you can download a copy here.)

That day in 2005: it was with pure amazement that I accompanied Del through his introduction to the first rendering of Spirit in Action’s website, created by board member, Karl Johnson. Even though Del was closely involved in deciding the content of the website, he was nonetheless in awe of its presentation.

His strong, sometimes clumsy fingers pressed the right keys to progress through the amazing website:

  • Del himself pictured with the SIA board of directors
  • SIA’s history, mission and goals
  • Brilliant, clear photos of Del’s beloved correspondents around the world, and the SIA Small Business Fund families and community groups actively engaged in their blessed businesses
  • Del’s writings available, ONLINE for anyone to enjoy, without the need for envelopes and stamps
  • Contact resources with other organizations and websites freely shared with all the world
  • Inspirational links to Glenn Clark’s writings and more

Step by step, Del’s awareness of this amazing tool, the internet, took hold and he was overjoyed, humbled, and deeply grateful to accept this new expression of God’s all-presence, all-power, all-love, communicated in a new and accessible way. Hallelujah!

SIA's website from 2008

SIA’s website from 2008

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3 Comments on "Let us share a story about Del"

  • Barbara Neighbors Deal says

    LOVE this story! And of course, he’d see the potential, and give thanks. I love this pic of Del, too; looks like a wise OT Patriarch.

  • Lana Runyan says

    Marsha, what a delightful story. I met Del once at a CFO Annual Meeting. He was such a distinguished looking, gentle man. I thought his beautiful, white hair was amazing and now I have white hair myself, although I would not call it “amazing”. This story demonstrates so well the wonders of the “modern” age and how it can be used to bless so many people when used well. Thank you for sharing.


  • marsha johnson says

    Dear Barbara and Lana,

    Yes, Del was remarkable in his openness to growing with the times, especially when he could sense the potential of God’s love made manifest in modern and accessible ways. I’m so grateful to have been under his guidance and influence.

    Love and blessings abounding,

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