The Widow In "want".
A home missionary in Brooklyn, who has an enviable reputation for his
entire consecration to the work of helping the poor, one day when
engaged in his benevolent works, entered a restaurant, kept by a
Christian friend, a man of like spirit with himself, who, in the course
of conversation, related to him the following circumstances,
illustrative of the power of prayer.
He had, on a certain day, cleared a large sum, part of which consisted
of _Mexican dollars_. Returning home in high spirits, he felt as if he
could go to sleep sweetly on this silver pillow. But a thought suddenly
intruded, which gave a new turn to his feelings. It related to a poor
woman in his neighborhood, the widow of a very dear friend of his, whom
he knew to be in want. "Shall I take all this money to myself?" thought
he. "Does not the Providence who gave it to me say, _No! Give some of it
to the widow of your friend_."
With this impression he retired, as was his habit, quite early, but he
could not sleep. The thought of the needy widow haunted him. "I will go
to-morrow," said he to himself, "and see what I can do for her." But
this good intention proved no opiate to his disturbed mind. "Possibly
she or I may not live to see to-morrow." Something seemed to say _go
now_. He tossed from side to side, but could not sleep. _Go now_ kept
ringing in his ear. So at length the restless man had to dress himself
At this late hour, not far from eleven, he sallied forth to find the
widow. Seeing a dim light in the upper story where she resided, and
following its lead, he crept softly along on the stairway, until he
reached the room from which a low sound issued. The door was slightly
ajar; through which he could hear the voice of prayer, scarcely audible,
but deeply earnest. He dared hardly stir, lest he should disturb the
praying widow. But he came on an errand, and he must accomplish it. But
how? Recollecting at the moment, that he had in his pocket a few of the
_Mexican dollars_, he gently pushed at the door, and it opened just wide
enough for his purpose. So taking each piece of money between his
fingers, he rolled it in along the carpet, and withdrew as noiselessly
as he had ascended. Returning to his home, he fell asleep and slept
soundly, as well he might, after this act.
The widow at length arose from her knees, and was struck on seeing the
shining money lying about her floor. Where had these pieces of silver
come from? Here was a mystery she could not solve. But she knew it was
from the Lord, and that he had answered her prayer. So with tears of
gratitude, she gave thanks to Him, "whose is the silver and the gold."
Shortly after this event, she attended prayer-meeting, where she felt
constrained to make known this wonderful interposition in answer to
prayer. The Christians present were as much astonished as herself. The
silence which ensued was broken by a brother of that church, who rose
and said, "What this good woman has told you, is strictly true. These
dollars came from the Lord. They came in answer to her prayer." He then
detailed the circumstances before related. "God deputed me to carry this
money, and providentially I am here to night to testify to the fact that
God hears and answers prayer."
It seems, from a subsequent statement, that this widow, owed a certain
sum, that she was obliged to pay immediately, and having nothing in
hand, she was pleading, that night, that her Heavenly Father would send
her the needed amount.
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