One of the “Two Listeners”
In the Autumn of 1932, I was sitting in the lounge of an hotel when a visitor, quite unknown, crossed over and, handing me a copy of For Sinners Only, asked if I had read it. I answered “No,” and she left it with me.
On returning home, I bought a copy for myself.
I was curiously affected by the book and felt that I wanted all my friends to read it immediately, and actually made out a list of over a hundred people to whom I should have liked to have sent it. Not being rich, this desire had to be content with two copies, which I lent to various people, on whom it seemed to make little effect.
A few months later I read it again. It was then that there came a persistent desire to try to see whether I could get guidance such as A. J. Russell reported, through sharing a quiet time with the friend with whom I was then living. She was a deeply spiritual woman with unwavering faith in the goodness of God and a devout believer in prayer, although her life had not been an easy one.
I was rather skeptical, but, as she agreed, we sat down, pencils and paper in hand and waiting. This was in December 1932.
My results were entirely negative. Portions of texts came and went, then my mind wandered to ordinary topics. I brought it back again and again, but with no success. To this day, I cannot get guidance in this way alone.
But with my friend a very wonderful thing happened. From the first, beautiful messages were given to her by our Lord Himself, and every day from then these messages have never failed us.
We felt all unworthy and overwhelmed by the wonder of it, and could hardly realize that we were being taught, trained and encouraged day by day by HIM personally, when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible, sermons, their Churches, books and other sources.
Certainly we were not in any way psychic or advanced in spiritual growth, but just very ordinary human beings, who had had more suffering and worry than the majority and who had known tragedy after tragedy.
The tender understanding of some of Our Lord’s messages was at times almost heart-breaking; but His loving reproofs would leave no hurt.
Always, and this daily, He insisted that we should be channels of Love, Joy and Laughter in His broken world. This was the Man of Sorrows in a new aspect.
We, or rather I, found this command very difficult to obey, although to others it might have been simple. To laugh, to cheer others, to be always joyful when days were pain-racked, nights tortured by chronic insomnia, when poverty and almost insupportable worry were our daily portions, when prayer went unanswered and God’s face was veiled and fresh calamities came upon us?
Still came this insistent command to love and laugh and be joy-bringers to the lives we contacted.
Disheartened, one of us would gladly have ceased the struggle and passed on to another and happier life.
But He encouraged us daily, saying that He would not break the instruments that He intended to use, that He would not leave the metal in the crucible longer than was necessary for the burning away of the dross. Continually He exhorted us not to lose heart, an spoke of the joy that the future held for us.
Totally unexpected interpretations of His own words were given.
An adverse verdict on seeing visions of Himself, which we had hitherto thought granted only to the saintliest and, most strongly stressed of all, the immense power given to two souls praying together in close union and at one in their desire to love and serve Him. As others have proved, “such a union may, in God’s hands, accomplish such great things that there certainly will be inimical forces whose purpose it is to mar the friendship.” And so we found it.
Some of the messages are of surprising beauty. The majestic language of December 2nd, the inevitability of suffering in the Christian Life of November 23rd, and the explanation of the practical working of the Law of Supply of December 5th are examples of this.
Others may appear disjointed. This is because personal references and repetition have had to be deleted.
So to us this book, which we believe has been guided by our Lord Himself, is no ordinary book.
It is published, after much prayer, to prove that a living Christ speaks today, plans and guides the humblest, that no detail is too insignificant for His attention, that He reveals Himself now as ever as a Humble Servant and Majestic Creator.