A little girl in a wretched tenement in New York stood by her mother's death-bed, and heard her last words: |Jessie, find Jesus.|
When her mother was buried, her father took to drink, and Jessie was left to such care as a poor neighbor could give her. One day she wandered off unnoticed, with a little basket in her hand, and tugged through one street after another, not knowing where she went. She had started out to find Jesus. At last she stopped from utter weariness, in front of a saloon. A young man staggered out of the door, and almost stumbled over her. He uttered passionately the name of Him whom she was seeking. |Where is He?| she inquired eagerly. He looked at her in amazement.
|What did you say?| he asked.
|Will you please tell me where Jesus Christ is? for I must find Him| -- this time with great earnestness.
The young man looked at her curiously for a minute without speaking, and then his face sobered; and he said in a broken, husky voice, hopelessly: |I don't know, child; I don't know where he is.|
At length the little girl's wanderings brought her to the park. A woman evidently a Jewess, was leaning against the railing, looking disconsolately at the green grass and the trees.
Jessie went up to her timidly. |Perhaps she can tell me where He is,| was the child's thought. In a low, hesitating voice, she asked the woman: |Do you know Jesus Christ?|
The Jewess turned fiercely to face her questioner and in a tone of suppressed passion, exclaimed: |Jesus Christ is dead!| Poor Jessie trudged on, but soon a rude boy jostled against her, and snatching her basket from her hand, threw it into the street.
Crying, she ran to pick it up. The horses of a passing street car trampled her under their feet -- and she knew no more till she found herself stretched on a hospital bed.
When the doctors came that night, they knew she could not live until morning. In the middle of the night, after she had been lying very still for a long time, apparently asleep, she suddenly opened her eyes and the nurse, bending over her, heard her whisper, while her face lighted up with a smile that had some of heaven's own gladness in it: |Oh, Jesus, I have found you at last!|
Then the tiny lips were hushed, but the questioning spirit had received an answer.