While waiting in a cemetery to conduct a funeral service, Charles Simeon walked among
the graves, looking at the epitaphs. He found one that arrested him.
When from the dust of death I rise,
To claim my mansion in the skies,
E'en then shall this be all my plea--
"Jesus hath lived and died for me."
He was so impressed with that gospel message that he looked for someone in the cemetery
with whom he might share it. He saw a young woman, obviously distressed, and called her
over to read the epitaph. He took her address and visited her the next day. The home was a
scene of poverty and squalor. The woman's old mother was dying of asthma, and two little
children, very dirty, were trying to warm themselves by a small fire. Simeon prayed with
the family, visited them again, and found assistance for them. Later, the young woman told
Simeon that she had been in the cemetery five hours and was contemplating suicide when he
called her to read the epitaph. Because of his concern she trusted Christ and the family
situation was changed.
W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching &
Preachers, p. 217.
An elderly widow, restricted in her activities, was eager to serve Christ. After
praying about this, she realized that she could bring blessing to others by playing the
piano. The next day she placed this small ad in the Oakland Tribune: "Pianist will
play hymns by phone daily for those who are sick and despondent--the service is
free." The notice included the number to dial. When people called, she would ask,
"What hymn would you like to hear?" Within a few months her playing had brought
cheer to several hundred people. Many of them freely poured out their hearts to her, and
she was able to help and encourage them.
I used to ask God if He would come and help me. Then I asked if I could come and help
Him. Finally I ended by asking God to do His own work through me.
J. Hudson Taylor.
Five Loaves and Two Fishes
what you have
to fill a need which
you never could have filled.
where you are
to take you where
you never could have gone.
what you can do
to accomplish what
you never could have done.
who you are
to let you become who
you never could have been.
Philip Clarke Brewer in Holy Sweat, Tim
Hansel, 1987, Word Books Publisher, p. 25.