You're here: » Articles Home » S.B. Shaw » Touching Incidents » Part 7

Touching Incidents: Part 7

By S.B. Shaw


      Early one morning while it was yet dark, a poor man came to my door and informed me that he had an infant child very sick, which he was afraid would die. He desired me to go to his home, and, if possible, prescribe some medicine to relieve it. "For," said he, "I want to save its life if possible." As he spoke thus the tears ran down his face. He then added "I am a poor man; but, doctor, I will pay you in work as much as you ask if you will go."

      I said: "Yes, I will go with you as soon as I take a little refreshment."

      "Oh, sir," said he, "I was going to try to get a bushel of corn, and get it ground to carry home, and I am afraid the child will die before I get there. I wish you would not wait for me;" and then added: "We want to save the child's life if we can."

      It being some miles to his house, I did not arrive there until the sun was two hours high in the morning, when I found the mother holding her sick child, and six or seven little boys and girls around her, with clean hands and faces, looking as their mother did, lean and poor. On examining the sick child, I discovered that it was starving to death I said to the mother "You don't give milk enough for this child."

      She said: " I suppose I don't."

      "Well," said I, "you must feed it with milk."

      She answered: "I would, sir, but I can't get any to feed it with."

      I then said: "It will be well then for you to make a little water gruel, and feed your child."

      To this she replied; "I was thinking I would if my husband brings home some Indian meal. He has gone to try to get some, and I am in hopes he will make out."

      She said this with a sad countenance. I asked her with surprise: "Why, madam, have you not got anything to eat?

      She strove to suppress a tear, and answered sorrowfully, "No, sir we have had but little these some days.

      I said: "What are your neighbors, that you should suffer among them?"

      She said; "I suppose they are good people; but we are strangers in this place, and don't wish to trouble any of them, if we can get along without."

      Wishing to give the child a little manna, I asked for a spoon. The little girl went to the table drawer to get one, and her mother said to her "Get the longest handled spoon." As she opened the drawer, I saw only two spoons, and both with handles broken off, but one handle was a little longer than the other. I thought to myself, this is a very poor family, but I will do the best I can to relieve them. While I was preparing the medicine for the sick child, I heard the oldest boy (who was about fourteen), say: "You shall have the biggest piece now, because I had the biggest piece before." I turned around to see who it was that manifested such a principle of justice, and saw four or five children sitting in the corner, where the oldest was dividing a roasted potato among them. And he said to one: "You shall have the biggest piece now," etc. But the other said "Why, brother, you are the oldest, and you ought to have the biggest piece."

      "No," said the other, "I had the biggest piece."

      I turned to the mother, and said " Madam, you have potatoes to eat, I suppose?"

      She replied: "We have had, but that is the last one we have left; and the children have now roasted that for their breakfast."

      On hearing this, I hastened home, and informed my wife that I had taken the wrong medicine with me to the sick family. I then prescribed a gallon of milk, two loaves of bread, some butter, meat and potatoes, and sent my boy with these; and had the pleasure to hear in a few days that they were all well -- Selected.


      A day or two after our conversion, we called at a neighbor's, and while there heard the lady of the house say some very hard things against the work of God, which was shaking that whole section of country like an earthquake. We were deeply grieved, but went away without saying much. But scarcely had we reached home before the Holy Spirit spoke to our heart, and told us to go back to that neighbor's and pray. We hesitated a little, but the burden upon our heart became so heavy that we could no longer keep still, and were so strongly drawn to go back to neighbor B---- 's that we decided to go, and asked our stepmother to go with us. She wanted to wait to get ready, but our burden was too heavy for delay, and she yielded, and started with us at once. It seemed as we went that we could hardly keep from running; and as soon as we entered the house we fell upon our knees, exclaiming, that God had sent us there to pray. We scarcely realized our surroundings, and do not know how long or loud we prayed; but when we arose from our knees we could see that all in the house were wonderfully affected, aid the one who so short a time before was saying bitter things against the Lord and His work, was wringing her hands, and weeping, and saying "'What have I done? I did not know that I was so wicked that anybody needed to pray like that for me." We shook hands with all present, and left the house. Soon a Christian young lady, who was at Mr.B----'s when we were there, came over, and in a kind way said that she did not wish to discourage us, but she feared our prayer was too abrupt to do any good. But as she spoke, the Lord gave us the positive assurance of that family's salvation, and we began to praise the Lord. And so it was; for in a very short time the entire family were converted. Thus did God so early in our Christian experience, literally verify his own word.

      "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." -- Editor.


      On Thanksgiving morning, six young men stood in quiet conversation, on the corner of Clark and Washington streets, in the great and busy city of Chicago.

      "I propose a walk out to Graceland, the beautiful city of the dead." Thus spoke the leader of the company; and all agreeing, they journeyed forth. There are many beautiful monuments in that quiet city; and many a noted one from among the learned and the wealthy, from bank and store, from pulpit and bar, from church and state, has been borne there to rest; but the visit of these six young men at this time to this land of sacred, dust, is not for the purpose of the great and grand monuments, or visiting the graves of the rich. They have reached the beautiful entrance of Graceland, and, passing under the imposing archway through which a stream of sorrow flows day by day and hour by hour, they turn to the right; and following the principal drive for little more than a block, they reach an elevation where they stop to rest and meditate. And for these young men there is no more appropriate spot on earth to meditate than just here.

      Reader, even though you are not interested, yet perhaps you would like to see and know something of this spot. Then draw near, see the place, and hear the words of these young men. It is a small, three-cornered lot, forming an almost perfect equilateral triangle, with three oak trees, one standing near each of the angles. Near the center of the lot is a single grave, that all through the summer months resembled a bed of the richest flowers; but today the flowers are gone, and two well-wrapped rosebushes are all that remain of the summer beauties. When the foliage is full upon the trees, this grave is covered with their mellow shadow all the day. At the head of the grave is a plain low head-stone of Italian marble. On the south end of the stone are these letters, "Sec. W.F.M.S.; " on the top of the stone the letters, " S. E. F.," and just beneath these, in large letters, " Dear Mama." On the front of this stone arc these words: " Resting in the Everlasting Arms." Near the head of the grave and immediately under one of the trees, is a rustic chair, cut out of solid stone, that extends its mute invitation to every weary, sorrowing pilgrim to stop and rest.

      Reader, do you ask whose dust lies here? Let these young men answer. The leader of the company says

      "Here lies the dust of a holy woman, who found me two years ago, a stranger in the great city of Chicago-a stranger to all the people, but what was much more, a stranger to God. That lady invited me into her Bible-class, and though my garments were threadbare, she invited me to her home. She talked with me of Jesus and the better life. She pointed out to me the way up to a noble manhood, and by her leading I was constrained to give my heart to God; and this day Jesus is mine, and l am his."

      "And I," says a second of these young men, "well remember the day when I landed in Chicago, a perfect stranger, direct from England. On my first Sabbath in the city, I was invited by a young man whose acquaintance I had made, to visit this lady's Bible-class. I hath no sooner entered the church than she had me by the hand, inquired of me whence I came, where I lived, and invited me to become a member of her class. Her sweet womanliness, her face of sunshine, and the music of her voice, charmed me into obedience to her wishes. I was constrained first to give my name to the class; afterward I gave my heart to God, and my name to the church. Praise God for such a friend"

      A third young man speaks, and says "I came to Chicago from Toronto, Canada. I, too, was homeless and friendless. I heard of this lady, and her work for young men who were strangers in the city. I went to her class, and the first Sabbath took a back seat, and strove to hide myself but the eyes of this lady missed no young man who appeared to be alone or friendless. At the close of the lesson she came to me, and, as if I were her own son, she sat down beside me, and questioned me concerning my temporal and spiritual condition. I told her I had once been a Christian, and a member of the church, but that I had wandered far away into sin. She looked me in the face and said, while the big tears stood in her eyes "My Jesus is anxiously hunting and calling for his wandering sheep; let me lead you back into the fold." Yes; and she did lead me back into the fold, and this day I am one of the Great Shepherd's flock."

      "I will tell you how it was with me," said a fourth. "I came from my Iowa home, and found myself in Chicago, without friends, without money, and without work. After tramping from early one morning until four o'clock in the afternoon without finding work, and without anything to eat, I called at this lady's home, and asked for something to eat.

      She gave me a little work to do, and while I was doing the work she ordered a dinner prepared for me. While I was eating, she questioned me as to my home, my purpose in the city, and my religious life. She said little at that time about my religious life, but finding me desirous to find work, she exerted herself for me; and through her influence, in two days I had a situation which I have been able to hold from that time to this. After she had found me good work with fair pay, she invited me into her class and her home, and afterwards she led me to Christ."

      "And I," said the fifth young man, "have more reason to thank God for this lady than ye all. Two years ago I was a poor drunkard. This lady found me at the Young Men's Christian Association rooms, and asked me to call at her home. She prayed with me, she entreated me for Jesus' sake, for my dear mother's sake, and for my own sake, to reform. She induced me to sign the pledge; placed her hands upon my head, and offered, oh such a prayer for me. Then and there new strength came into my life; and from that day to this, by the grace of God, I have been able to live a sober life. Boys, I tell you, this dear woman was a mother to me."

      The sixth young man spoke and said " Under God, all I am today, or hope to be in the days to come, I owe to this noble woman. No wonder they have cut the name 'Dear Mamma' on the headstone, for she was a mother to us all."

      The leader said : "You see on the head-stone, 'Resting in the Everlasting Arms.' This reminds us that she sang, Safe in the Arms of Jesus.' Boys, let us sing that hymn."

      And they did sing it, with the tears streaming down their cheeks; after which they kneeled around the silent grave, and in voiceless prayer gave themselves anew to God.

      Reader, would you know whose dust lies here? Over the back of the rustic chair hangs a scroll; draw near and read: "Born, July, 1838; " " Departed, April, 1883." Read on: " Her work for God and humanity is her monument." Whose dust lies here? Alt this is the grave of Sara Houghton Fawcett. And these young men, whom she had led to Jesus, came hither this Thanksgiving day, to offer their tribute of praise and thanksgiving to God for the memory they have of the blessed woman whose dust rests here by the chair of stone. She is not dead -"not dead, but departed."

      "There is no death! What seems so is transition,
      This life of mortal breath
      Is but a suburb of the life Elysian,
      Whose portal we call Death."

      - N.W. Christian Advocate.


      Not long ago I stood by the deathbed of a little girl.

      From her birth she had been afraid of death. Every fiber of her body and soul recoiled from the thought of it. Don't let me die," she said; " don't let me die. Hold me fast.

      "Oh, I can't go!"

      "Jennie," I said, "you have two little brothers in the other world, and there are thousands of tender-hearted people over there, who will love you and take care of you."

      But she cried out again despairingly " Don't let me go; they are strangers over there." She was a little country girl, strong limbed, fleet of foot, tanned in the face; she was raised on the frontier, the fields were her home. In vain we tried to reconcile her to the death that was inevitable. "Hold me fast," she cried; "don't let me go." But even as she was pleading, her little hands relaxed their clinging hold from my waist, and lifted themselves eagerly aloft; lifted themselves with such straining effort, that they lifted the wasted little body from its reclining position among the pillows. Her face was turned upward, but it was her eyes that told the story. They were filled with the light of Divine recognition. They saw something plainly that we could not see and they grew brighter and brighter, and her little hand quivered in eagerness to go, where strange portals had opened upon her astonished vision. But even in that supreme moment she did not forget to leave a word of comfort for those who would gladly have died in her place: "Mamma," she was saying, "mamma, they are not strangers. I'm not afraid." And every instant the light burned more gloriously in her blue eyes, till at last it seemed as if her soul leaped forth upon its radiant waves; and in that moment her trembling form relapsed among its pillows, and she was gone -- Chicago Woman's World.


      Brother W. B. Bailey wrote us from Hybrid, Mo., January 7, 1887:

      "I had a cancer in my left breast. It pained me very much; had become very bad and tender, and was a running sore. The saints prayed for me, and the Lord answered our prayers. Praise His holy name! The pain left me instantly, but the cancer healed gradually. It healed up without medicine or plaster, or anything but by trusting God alone. Praise the Lord for healing me, both soul and body. See Mark xvi:18 and James v:13-16."

      His wife wrote at the same time:

      "And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Matt. xxi :22. I praise the Lord, prayer was answered for me. I was very much afflicted in body. I went to the doctors. They could not cure me, I only grew worse. Was taken with a pain in my right shoulder. How I suffered none can tell. I could not use my arm without great pain. I could not raise my hand to comb my hair. My arm wasted away until it was less than the other. My hand was cold most all of the time. I was a cripple ten years. The saints prayed for me, and I was healed in answer to prayer. I can use my arm now. My hand is like the other. I can write and work with my right hand. I also had the dyspepsia seventeen years, and am healed in answer to prayer."

      ONLY A VOTE.

      A local option contest was going on in W----, and Mrs. Kent was trying to influence her husband to vote "No License." Willie Kent, six years old, was, of course, on his mamma's side. The night before election, Mr. Kent went to see Willie safe in bed, and hushing his prattle, he said, "Now, Willie, say your prayers."

      "Papa, I want to say my own words tonight," he replied. "All right, my boy, that is the best kind of praying," answered the father.

      Fair was the picture, as Willie, robed in white, knelt at his father's knee, and prayed reverently "O dear Jesus, do help papa to vote No Whiskey tomorrow. Amen."

      Morning came, the village was alive with excitement.

      Women's hands, made hard by toil, were stretched to God for help in the decision.

      The day grew late, and yet Mr. Kent had not been to the polls. Willie's prayer sounded in his ears, and troubled conscience said: "Answer your boy's petition with your ballot."

      At last he stood at the polling-place with two tickets in his hand - one License; the other No License. Sophistry, policy, avarice said: "Vote License." Conscience echoed: "No License." After a moment's hesitation, he threw from him the No License ticket and put the License in the box.

      The next day it was found that the contest was so close it needed but one vote to carry the town for prohibition. In the afternoon, Willie found a No License ticket, and, having heard only one vote was necessary, he started out to find the man who would cast this one ballot against wrong, and in his eagerness he flew along the streets.

      The saloon men were having a jubilee, and the highways were filled with drunken rowdies. Little Willie rushed on through the unsafe crowd. Hark! A random pistol-shot from a drunken quarrel, a pierced heart, and sweet Willie Kent had his death wound.

      They carried him home to his mother. His father was quickly summoned, and the first swift thought that came to him, as he stood over his lifeless boy, was "Willie will never pray again that I may vote No Whiskey."

      With a strange, still grief he took in his own the quiet little hand, chilling into marble coldness, and there between the fingers, firmly clasped, was the No License ballot with which the brave little soul thought to change the verdict of yesterday.

      Mr. Kent started back in shame and sorrow. That vote in his hand might have answered the prayer so lately on his lips, now dumb, and perhaps averted the awful calamity. Fathers, may not the hands of the "thousands slain" make mute appeal to you? Your one vote is what God requires of you. You are as responsible for it being in harmony with His law, as if on it hung the great decision. -- The Issue.

Back to S.B. Shaw index.

See Also:
   Touching Incidents: Introduction and Preface
   Touching Incidents: Part 1
   Touching Incidents: Part 2
   Touching Incidents: Part 3
   Touching Incidents: Part 4
   Touching Incidents: Part 5
   Touching Incidents: Part 6
   Touching Incidents: Part 7
   Touching Incidents: Part 8
   Touching Incidents: Part 9
   Touching Incidents: Part 10
   Touching Incidents: Part 11
   Touching Incidents: Part 12
   Touching Incidents: Part 13
   Touching Incidents: Part 14
   Touching Incidents: Part 15
   Touching Incidents: Part 16


Like This Page?

© 1999-2019, All rights reserved.