For many years, R.A. Torrey helped famed evangelist D.L. Moody in Moody’s work. Torrey himself told the following story about one of Moody’s converts. I offer Torrey’s account verbatim:
On one occasion in Chicago, Mr. Moody saw a little girl standing on the street with a pail in her hand. He went up to her and invited her to his Sunday School, telling her what a pleasant place it was. She promised to go the following Sunday but did not do so.
Mr. Moody watched for her for weeks, then one day saw her on the street again at some distance from him. He started toward her, but when she saw him, she started to run away. Mr. Moody followed her. Down she went one street. He went after her. Up she went another street, Mr. Moody after her; through an alley, he was still following; out on another street, Mr. Moody after her.
Then she dashed into a saloon, and he dashed after her. She ran out the back door and up a flight of stairs, Mr. Moody still following. She dashed into a room, with him following; she threw herself under the bed, and he reached under the bed, pulled her out by the foot and led her to Christ.
He found that her mother was a widow who had once seen better circumstances but had gone down until now she was living over this saloon. She had several children. Mr. Moody led the mother and all the family to Christ. Several of the children were prominent members of the Moody Church until they moved away. Afterward they became prominent in churches elsewhere.
This particular child, whom he pulled from underneath the bed, was, when I was pastor of the Moody Church, the wife of one of the most prominent officers in the church. Two or three years ago, as I came out of a ticket office in Memphis, Tennessee, a fine-looking young man followed me. “Are you not Dr. Torrey?” “Yes.” “I am So-and-so.” He was the son of this woman. Now he was a traveling man and an officer in the church where he lived. When Mr. Moody pulled that little child out from under that bed by the foot, he was pulling a whole family into the kingdom of God. Eternity alone will reveal how many succeeding generations he was pulling into the kingdom!
Torrey’s story should inspire us Christians to be more determined in our efforts to win others to Jesus. When it comes to evangelism, we are so easily stopped, aren’t we? That is assuming, of course, that we’ve even started! Surely every empty pew in our churches is the seat of an individual whom we could have won to Christ if we had displayed half of D.L. Moody’s determination in winning that little girl.
Tell me, Christian, have you ever lead anyone to Jesus? “No,” you say? Well, have you ever tried to lead someone to Him? If you haven’t, then feel free to consider this post God’s alarm clock to wake you out of your evangelism slumber. Maybe He has even already laid some lost person on your heart. If He has, then don’t stop until you’ve shared the gospel with that person. And if He hasn’t, then ask Him to do so, and don’t be the least bit surprised when He takes you up on the request.