A captain’s widow, whom I knew for many years of our chapel, was much concerned for the conversion of her son, who was a sailor. For a long time he had promised to be a comfort and help to his mother; but through the influence of bad companions he became very wicked and dissolute. Many times have I gone to the public house and other places of temptation to allure him home to his mother’s house; and in no instance when his mother’s name had been mentioned has he refused to come; for on him the charming name of mother seemed to exercise a potent, irresistible spell. I have often taken him up into our Sunday-school room, where he used to be a scholar, and have reasoned and prayed him till the tears ran down his cheeks, and he would promise to get on “a better tack.”
On one of these occasions I gave him a pocket Bible, in which he engaged to read one verse a day until the ship returned from Sidney. I mentioned this to his mother, and shall not soon forget her look, as she said: ‘Thank God! Thank God! I now have hopes of his conversion.” He was gone many months, and but little was heard of him; but mother prayed for him daily at a fixed time. It pleased the Lord to visit her with a painful disease, which terminated in her death, but her faith, joy and peace were marvelous and delightful to witness. I do not remember paying her a single visit in which she did not mention her son, and express her belief that she would meet him in glory.
One evening she remarked: “I am near the grave, I feel my time here is very short; I will leave a message for my boy, which you must deliver to him.” Observing her extreme weakness, I prayed with her a few moments, and promised to see her early the next day. Accordingly I called, and saw that she was indeed dying. She desired to be propped up in bed, and to sing a hymn; and, in order to support her in this final effort, her two daughters knelt on the bed, and upheld her as well as they could. She spoke to them of her funeral and her property.
When this business had been transacted she said to me: “I know that I am dying, but I have no fear; all is light and beautiful. Christ is here Christ is mine, and I am his.” Her voice became stronger and clearer, and she bade us sing. Her daughters could sing but little, their hearts were too full. However, we all did our best in singing her favorite verses.
“Fearless of hell and ghastly death,
I’d break through every foe;
The wings of love and arms of faith,
Would bear me conqueror through.”
While we were singing, a loud knocking was heard. A servant having gone for the doctor, I went to the door, and, my surprise, found the sailor-boy just returned from the I explained to him his mother’s condition, and got remain in the parlor till I broke the news to her returned to her bedside, she said: “Oh I thought it was my dear boy. Oh, how I should to see him once more, and to give him my blessing.”
“Are you able,” I inquired, “to hear him, or to see him? With a smile, she replied: “I can bear anything, through Christ.”
I went for the sailor, and when I brought him into the room we found her praying, with her eyes closed, for her only son. In a few moments she looked around and saw her long absent child. He threw his arms around his mother’s neck and tried to speak, but could not. But the mother cried: ”Hallelujah! Jesus is faithful and true;” and after one kiss, she added:
“My dear boy, I am dying and going to Jesus. I have prayed every day for you, my dear Frank. What shall I tell Jesus about you? Your father is there,” pointing upwards “your sisters are on the way. Oh, what shall I tell my blessed Savior?”
“You can tell Him what you like, mother. I am a Christian, converted to God, mother; and he knows all about.
The mother’s heart was full; the good news overcame her strength, and she exclaimed: “Let me go, Lord, I have seen thy salvation! My prayers are all answered! My son is saved, clothed, and in his right mind! Glory! Glory! Glory!”
After sleeping a few minutes she awoke with a beautiful smile on her face, and said: “I see the angels, harps, crowns; bright, golden crowns! Let me go!” and, raising her hand above her head, she exclaimed: “Victory, through faith in His blood!” Then her arm fell, her eyes closed, and her spirit returned to God who gave it.
– T.G. Garland
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893