Sunday, February 04, 2007

Your Weekly Dose of Susannah Spurgeon

Last week's Weekly Dose of Susannah Spurgeon hit the spot with all you romantics out there! As one reader made note: how often do we let TV and movies spoil our idea of romance! (But that's another post!) What a great love story Susannah and Charles exampled! However, this doesn't mean to say things were always rosy in the garden. Here is another excerpt from Charles Ray's biography of Susannah Spurgeon. It tells of how they both had to grow in certain areas: "that Charles may have space for mending, and that 'Susie' may exhibit her growth in knowledge of his character, by patiently enduring his failings."

At times the preacher would be so absorbed in his great mission, when about to preach, that on his fiancée entering the vestry, he would fail to recognize her and merely greet her with a handshake as if she were some casual acquaintance or visitor. Once there was a more trying experience still. C. H. Spurgeon was to preach in a large hall at Kennington on a certain afternoon and Miss Thompson accompanied him thither in a cab. The pavement outside the building was thronged with people as were also the entrance hall and staircase leading to the auditorium, and the maiden had hard work in struggling through the mass of people and trying to keep near her lover. Suddenly he turned in at a side door on the landing, leaving Miss Thompson to manage as best she could in the throng eagerly pressing forward to get into the hall. The burden of souls was resting heavily upon the preacher, and occupied with the momentousness of the message he was to deliver, he had forgotten all about his poor fiancée.

Miss Thompson's feelings at what she considered an unpardonable slight, may easily be imagined. "At first," she says, "I was utterly bewildered, and then, I am sorry to have to confess, I was angry." She at once returned home, without making any further effort to get to a seat, her indignation and grief increasing momentarily. But the young girl possessed that best of gifts a wise and loving mother, who with the greatest tact sought to soothe her daughter's ruffled spirits. "She wisely reasoned," says Mrs. Spurgeon, "that my chosen husband was no ordinary man, that his whole life was absolutely dedicated to God and His service, and that I must never, never hinder him by trying to put myself first in his heart.

Presently, after much good and loving counsel, my heart grew soft, and I saw I had been very foolish and wilful; and then a cab drew up at the door and dear Mr. Spurgeon came running into the house in great excitement, calling, 'Where's Susie? I have been searching for her everywhere and cannot find her; has she come back by herself?' My dear mother went to him, took him aside and told him all the truth; and, I think, when he realized the state of things, she had to soothe him also; for he was so innocent at heart of having offended me in any way, that he must have felt I had done him an injustice in thus doubting him. At last, mother came to fetch me to him, and I went downstairs. Quietly he let me tell him how indignant I had felt, and then he repeated mother's little lesson, assuring me of his deep affection for me, but pointing out that, before all things, he was God's servant, and I must be prepared to yield my claims to His. I never forgot the teaching of that day; I had learned my hard lesson by heart, for I do not recollect ever again seeking to assert my right to his time and attention when any service for God demanded them."

The incident closed happily with a cozy tea at her mother's house, and Mrs. Spurgeon speaks of the sweet calm which reigned in the hearts of all after the storm of the afternoon. When a few weeks later the preacher was to fulfill an engagement at Windsor he wrote and asked his fiancée to accompany him, adding, "Possibly, I may be again inattentive to you if you do go, but this will be nice for us both, - that Charles may have space for mending, and that 'Susie' may exhibit her growth in knowledge of his character, by patiently enduring his failings."


Kim from Hiraeth said...

I can't wait to read this book!

tepee said...

What a fantastic lesson for me! How often I have held myself above my husband (a pastor) and his ministry! Thank You for sharing!