The Rev. H. Merriweather, a missionary of the Sri Lanka and India General Mission, was visiting the United States, and the head office of the mission asked him to call upon a certain woman who supported a full-time missionary. On arrival in the city, he made his way to her address, and was somewhat surprised by the ordinary type of home found there. He had expected to find a wealthy suburb with pretentious buildings. This woman supported a full-time missionary, and it was natural to assume that she was a lady of means. Had he made a mistake?
He knocked at the door, and was greeted by a motherly old lady who beamed upon him. Even as the missionary introduced himself, his eyes were examining the room. The furniture was spotlessly clean, and yet it could hardly be described as expensive. This was the abode of an ordinary working woman.
Ultimately his curiosity gained the upper hand, and he asked how could she—a woman with meagre means—manage to give so much money to the mission? Mutely he indicated the mediocre furnishings of the apartment, and his eloquent silence suggested that the task was beyond her capabilities.
The old lady was greatly amused as she said, “But Mr. Merriweather, I support four missionaries. I have one in India, one in Africa, one in China, and one in South America.”
Mr. Merriweather was shocked. “You have four people preaching for you? How on earth do you manage?”
Her lovely old face became grave; only her eyes smiled as she explained how she had always believed in giving one-tenth of her income to God. Then God had blessed her, for someone had bequeathed some property to her, which greatly increased her income, and consequently her “Lord’s Fund” became larger. “Come over to the window, Mr. Merriweather, and I will show you my houses.”
She indicated a row of magnificent houses, and said, “What does an old lady like me want with such big houses? I have all I require in this little home, and the rent from those places supports my missionaries. I knew I would never be able to preach the gospel overseas, so I determined others should do it for me.”
Mr. Merriweather concluded: “Some day at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Merriweather the missionary will stand beside this kind helper from America, and I am quite sure her reward will far outshine mine. She knew how to give cheerfully. And the Lord, who loves a cheerful giver, blessed her.”