THE WIDOW AND FATHERLESS
One of the noble replies given by Job to his “miserable comforters,” when they charged him with having sent the widows empty away, was, that he had not turned a deaf ear to their cry, but had caused their “hearts to sing for joy.” And one of the most touching scenes in the life of Peter is when he stands looking at the dead body of Dorcas, and the weeping widows gather round to show him the garments she had made for them. One of the imperative orders given by the Almighty to the ancient Jews was, “Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in anywise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry.” And one of the standing tests of true religion before God is that we “visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.”
There was a boy who saw his mother weeping, and, affectionately putting his arms round her neck, said to her, “Why do you weep, mother?” His mother replied, “I did not know you saw my tears, my child. I have often wept in secret; for I did not want to make you sad by letting you see my sorrow; but since your father was taken away I found it hard work to provide you with bread and pay your school fee. I intended to give you more learning before you began work, but I find I cannot. You will have to leave the school in order to help me to obtain food for yourself and your two little sisters. I have procured you the situation of an errand-boy, and you will have three shillings per week.”
“Well, don’t weep, mother. I will be a good lad, and help you all I can,” was the noble reply.
The first day the little fellow went to his work, he was sent with letters to the Post Office. He put them in one by one. The Postmaster stood at the door, and the lad very innocently said, “Where do all the letters that people put in your box go to?” The Postmaster kindly explained to him that if he wrote a letter, folded it up, sealed it, and wrote on it the name and residence of the person he wished to receive it, it would go to him wherever he lived.
That night the fatherless boy wrote the following letter:Â—
“To the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven,
“My father is dead, and my mother weeps, and is sad because father is dead, and we are very poor. Mother wished to keep me at school a little longer, but she has no money; do help poor mother that she will not weep.”
Having finished the letter, he folded it up, sealed it with some shoemaker’s wax, wrote on the back:Â— “To the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven,” and put it into the Post Office.
When the Postmaster saw the letter, he could not tell what to do with it, and was holding it in his hand when a Moravian minister entered. He showed the minister the letter, observing “It
is no use sending this to the dead letter office. I will open it and return it to the simple person that has posted it, if I can find him.”
The letter was opened and read. The Postmaster and minister were much affected. The minister begged permission to have the letter read at a missionary meeting he was going to attend that evening. He read it to a large audience, and a lady rose, exclaiming, “O that I knew the little boy who wrote that letter. He would go to school, and his mother and sisters would have bread.”
The mother and child were both present. The mother held down her head in amazement and fear, for it was all new to her;
but the little fellow, all excitement, called out, “Please Ma’am, I am here!”
The good lady fulfilled her promise. The boy was sent to school again, and the widow found a friend in need.
Now, I ask, did not the contents of that letter go to heaven before the little boy posted it? I believe they did; for God has given special promises to the orphan and widow.
And we may add to the above, not only that “the contents of the letter went to heaven before the boy posted it,” but that they first came down from heaven into the boy’s heart.