3 Meg’s first Christian Experiences

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Meg purchased a Bible the next morning and whenever there was an opportunity between serving the customers, she turned over a few pages. It was like a love-letter to her, so wonderful! Soon she learned that there was a morning service at the Brethren Assembly and she looked forward to the following Sunday when she would be able to go to the meeting for the Lord’s Supper. At this point, the AA man and his wife invited her for the weekend: “Come and spend the weekend with us.” She accepted this kind invitation and told them about her desire to join the Sunday meeting. He told her, “I am very sorry we will not be able to take you with us, because the people there would not receive you; they are Exclusive Brethren so they do not receive ‘strangers’. But I will give you a letter for the Open Brethren and you can go there.”

Before she went to the meeting, Meg saw that the wife was worried about something. She looked at Meg and said,  “I have something to tell you.” And she said, “Oh, tell me what it is.” She answered, “Well, you can’t go to the Lord’s Table without stockings on.”  “Oh, what have stockings to do with the Lord’s Table?” “Well, young men will look at your legs.” “Oh, is that what they do at the Lord’s Table, young men looking at the girls’ legs? Well,” she said, “I have no stockings anyway.” The wife said, “I will lend you a pair.” So she found a pair of woolly, prickly stockings. “How am I going to keep them up?” “Oh, haven’t you got anything to keep them up with?” “No.” “Okay, I will make you a pair of garters.” She made her a pair of garters and now she was ‘equipped’ to go to the meeting.

There she went with the letter of introduction and the woolly, prickly stockings. There were three steps to approach the meeting place. At the top of the steps there was a young man saying, “Good morning, Sister!” “Sister?!” It certainly would not have been music to her ears before, but now it was. She felt welcome. It was going to be heaven on earth to be there with these people. However, about halfway through the service, one stocking slipped down. Now, what was she to do? She could not pull it up and, making the situation even worse, the other one slipped down also. Now both stockings were at her ankles. How was she going to pull them up? This spoiled the whole thing for her. She had thought it was going to be heaven on earth, but how disappointed she was. There and then she learned never to tell people what to wear when partaking of the Lord’s Table, but to leave it to the Holy Spirit. That was a good lesson she learned early. She continued to attend the meetings there on Sundays.

After three weeks, her friend said to her, “Where do you go? You are so different, Meg. Of course, I am not interested; I am just curious.”

“Oh,” she said, “come with me then.”

So, the next Sunday, she took her friend to the meeting. But now, Meg saw everything through her friend’s eyes. The place was not very wonderful; the hymn books were a bit torn; there were no flowers; there was no music. In addition, the believers found it difficult to start the hymn on the right note. Meg thought she should have taken her friend to a parish church. However, they were there now; they could not go out. Therefore, they sat down and Meg was all the time wondering what her friend was feeling about it all. At the end, a fisherman stood up, saying, “We have had a lovely time with the Lord today!” Meg had not had a lovely time. He went on, “We have had a lovely time with the Lord today. Let us sing, ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’.” They struggled to find the right note and eventually they got it going. Meg looked at her friend as they were singing the second verse and saw tears streaming down her face. So she asked, “Hey, what’s the matter with you? Do you have pain?” “No. I am just seeing what Jesus has done for me.” Hilda was converted at the Lord’s Table. That was a very unusual occurrence at the Lord’s Table, but there Hilda was born again that morning.

Now they both knew the Lord. And what could they do for their Master? The Lord had done so much for them. They decided they would give their business to the Lord. So they took out all the worldly literature they provided for the people while waiting for their food and put in gospel literature instead. There was one booklet at that time called ‘The Traveller’s Guide’. People on holiday referred to this guide to see where they could go. There were also some exciting testimonies in this book, which Meg and Hilda read out loud, so everybody would hear. But then they found out they were losing their customers. The holiday-makers continued to come, for they did not know what they were coming in for. But the local people knew that this shop had become too religious; they were passing by, but not coming in.

Meg and Hilda thought, “We cannot afford to lose our business. What should we do? We will have half a night of prayer.” It did not take half a night of prayer before they knew what they should do. After ten minutes in prayer they knew they could do nothing else but to witness and continue as they had done. And that is just what they did. At the end of the year when the books were audited, they were not a penny down. They had taken less, but had also spent less. Joyfully they wrote across the book in red ink: “The Lord is no man’s debtor.”

On Fridays, they usually kept their shop open until after the last session at the cinema. But now they shut their shop at eight o’clock and then had a gospel meeting. They had notable men like Rendal Short coming from Bristol and Captain Carrie, a very famous captain in those days. They had such precious times with these notable men coming to speak. Criminals were converted. Meg would be out on the pavement pumping her little harmonium. The place would be packed with people; some of their guests even had to sit on tables and stairs, and anywhere. In this way they continued until World War II.

Because they were both registered nurses, they had to be available for call-up. They had to close down the shop and were directed to a large office block, to care for government personnel.

Previous chapter / Next chapter