The day after I came to know Jesus as my Saviour, as a lad in my father’s gipsy wagon, the world was a new world to me. I could not help singing. In those days I could really sing! I never got wrecked even on the high C’s!
I went out on my work as usual—I was in the lumber business—selling clothes-pins at twopence a dozen. The first house I came to the lady bought some, and I asked her if she would like to hear me sing. My heart was full. I wanted to tell her about Jesus. I was afraid and unable to speak, but I knew many hymns. She said yes, so I sang:
Who’ll be the next to follow Jesus,
Who’ll be the next the cross to bear?
Someone is ready, someone is waiting;
Who’ll be the next the crown to wear?
Then I saw her tears, and I was so afraid that as soon as I finished the hymn I took to my heels and ran as fast as I could!
Twenty-five years later I was holding a parlor meeting in a certain city. Among the ladies present was one who came to shake hands with me after the meeting.
Well, Mrs. Chivers, I said,
I am glad to see you! You used to buy clothes-pins from me when I was a little gipsy boy. Do you remember one day when I sang for you and ran away?
Yes, she said,
and let me tell you about it. My daughter, a girl in her teens, was in the room, and as you sang she came and stood beside me. When you had gone, she said:
Mother, if a poor little gipsy boy is able to love and confess Jesus I think I ought to love Him too.
So we kneeled down together, and my daughter gave her heart to Jesus. She is here with me today, and has now children of her own, and all these years she has been a true follower of Jesus.
Sing the gospel, if you have a voice. You can never tell in whose hearts your words may find a lodging.
Record of Christian Work (East Northfield, Massachusetts: Record of Christian Work Company), Volume 40, number 1, January 1921, page 1.