One day a Sunday school teacher fell ill and asked Moody to teach his class, a group Moody described as “without exception the most frivolous set of girls I ever met. They laughed in my face, and I felt like opening the door and telling them all to get out and never come back.”1
Later that week the teacher stopped by the shoe store to talk to Moody. “I have had another hemorrhage of my lungs,” the teacher said. “The doctor says I cannot live on Lake Michigan, so I am going to New York state. I suppose I am going to die.”
Moody sensed that something else was troubling the man; he asked what it was. “Well, I have never led any of my class to Christ,” the man confided. “I really believe I have done the girls more harm than good.”
“Suppose you tell them how you feel,” Moody suggested. Moody later wrote:
He consented, and we started out together. It was one of the best journeys I ever had on earth. We went to the house of one of the girls…and the teacher talked to her about her soul. There was no laughing then! Tears stood in her eyes before long. After he had explained the way of life, he suggested that we have prayer. He asked me to pray. True, I had never done such a thing in my life as to pray God to convert a young lady there and then. But we prayed, and God answered my prayer.2
For the next ten days, Moody and the teacher visited home after home, both together and separately. It wasn’t long before the teacher returned to the shoe store to tell Moody the last girl in his class had yielded herself to Christ.
Without any prior arrangement, the entire class arrived at the train depot the evening the teacher left town. “What a meeting that was!” Moody said.
We tried to sing, but we broke down. The last we saw of that dying teacher he was standing on the platform of the rear car, his finger pointing upward, telling us to meet him in heaven.… I had got a taste of another world, and cared no more for making money. For some days after, the greatest struggle of my life took place. Should I give up business and give myself to Christian work, or should I not? I have never regretted my choice.
–Taken from Secrets of Excellence by George Sweeting. © 1985, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Moody Press. Used by permission.