Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Opal Ring and The Piping Bullfinch

During a time of long pain and suffering from an illness, Mrs. Spurgeon was often left alone at home due to Pastor Charles being engaged in many Pastoral duties. She added the following story, which he left out in the first draft of C.H. Spurgeon: Autobiography Vol 2, and it is a great thing she did add it, because I think this may be one of my absolute favorites:

"While sick, Mrs. Spurgeon had one very remarkable instance of a desire of hers being granted by what cannot but be accepted as a Divine interposition. Her husband often used to ask if there were anything she would like him to get for her. The usual answer was a negative as she said she had all she needed except health. But one day in a half-bantering tone she said, “I should like an opal ring and a piping bullfinch!” Her husband was surprised, but replied, “Ah, you know I cannot get those for you!” For several days the curious request was laughed over, and then it passed from the memories of both husband and wife.

            Mrs. Spurgeon herself shall tell the sequel of the story. “One Thursday evening, on his return from the Tabernacle, he (the preacher) came into my room with such a beaming face and such love-lighted eyes, that I knew something had delighted him very much. In his hand he held a tiny box, and I am sure his pleasure exceeded mine as he took from it a beautiful little ring and placed it on my finger. "There is your opal ring, my darling." he said, and then he told me of the strange way in which it had come. An old lady whom he had once seen when she was ill, sent a note to the Tabernacle to say she desired to give Mrs. Spurgeon a small present, and could someone be sent to her to receive it. Mr. Spurgeon's private secretary went accordingly and brought the little parcel, which, when opened, was found to contain this opal ring. How we talked of the Lord's tender love for His stricken child and of His condescension in thus stooping to supply an unnecessary gratification to His dear servant's sick one, I must leave my readers to imagine; but I can remember feeling that the Lord was very near to us. “Not long after that I was moved to Brighton, there to pass a crisis in my life, the result of which would be a restoration to better health, or death. One evening, when my dear husband came from London, he brought a large package with him, and, uncovering it, disclosed a cage containing a lovely piping bullfinch! My astonishment was great, my joy unbounded, and these emotions were intensified as he related the way in which he became possessed of the coveted treasure. He had been to see a dear friend of ours, whose husband was sick unto death, and after commending the sufferer to God in prayer, Mrs. T said to him, "I want you to take my pet bird to Mrs. Spurgeon, I would give him to none but her, his songs are too much for my poor husband in his weak state, and I know that 'Bully' will interest and amuse Mrs. Spurgeon in her loneliness while you are so much away from her." Mr. Spurgeon then told her of my desire for such a companion, and together they rejoiced over the care of the loving Heavenly Father who had so wondrously provided the very gift His child had longed for. With that cage beside him the journey to Brighton was a very short one, and when Bully piped his pretty song and took a hemp seed as a reward from the lips of his new mistress, there were eyes with joyful tears in them and hearts overflowing with praise to God in the little room by the sea that night, and the dear Pastor's comment was, 'I think you are one of your Heavenly Father's spoiled children, and He just gives you whatever you ask for."'

If you're wondering how the special care of God for Mrs. Spurgeon applies to you, know that every child of God is a spoiled one; given abundant grace and the privilege of children to "ask whatever you wish, and receive."