One of the older Ministries (now deceased) told the following story many years ago….
“Long ago in the city of Chicago a woman lay dying. She had lived a long life of sin without care or thought for God. While she was young, life had gone her way, but as the years went by her friends became fewer and fewer until at last, deserted and alone, she lay dying in her dismal attic room. In her distress she sent her daughter to call for the neighborhood minister. ‘Tell him,’ she said, ‘ that I am dying and I want him to tell me HOW TO GET IN.’ The night was cold and the minister himself knew not the true way of salvation. On the walls of his study hung the pictures of his seminary classmates and his degrees in theology. He was reluctant to leave the comfort of his home to go out on such a cold night to such a dismal district, but because of the importunity of the girl he aroused himself and, wrapping his warm coat about him, was led to the dingy apartment where the dying woman lay. A look of pleasure wreathed her careworn face as he came in. ‘I’m so glad you’ve come,’ she said, ‘for I want you to tell me HOW TO GET IN.’ The poor minister was baffled. He knew not what to say. For years he had taught the people to do the best they could, to join the church, and to live good respectable lives, but here was a situation he had never faced before. Seating himself on the chair beside the bed, he began to tell her how we should think kind thoughts and do kind deeds. ‘Ah,’ said the woman, ‘ but I am dying. It is too late for that now.’ ‘Well,’ said the minister, ‘ you should keep the golden rule and do unto others as you would have them do to you. If we do the best we can, we will be alright.’
‘But,’ said the woman, ‘ it is too late for that. Is there nothing else you can tell me?’
The minister, in his distraction realizing how vain such words were in such a critical hour as this, ventured to quote a scripture he had learned to recite as a child. ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life: for God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ ‘That’s it! That’s it,’ she cried. ‘That’s what I wanted to hear. Now kneel down and pray for me.’ The minister kneeled to pray, but unable to pray for the woman, he prayed for himself, and as he prayed, Christ came into his heart; and he GOT IN, and she GOT IN. It is of grace that it might be by faith that ALL who are afar off might be brought nigh to God through faith in JESUS Christ our Lord.”
Marvellous grace of our loving Lord,
Freely bestowed on all who believe,
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured;
Will you this moment His grace receive?
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can avail to wash it away?
Look, there is flowing a crimson tide!
WHITER THAN SNOW YOU MAY BE TODAY.
Julia H. Johnston
By Terry Miller