After our return from California I found that my body was much worn by our labors in that State. I therefore rested for a few weeks; then in company with my brother George, I attended a number of camp-meetings that summer. A little later in the year we went to visit relatives in Ohio and Indiana, stopping on the way to hold a few meetings in the city of Chicago. On this trip we visited also my mother's old home in Carroll County, Ohio, and while there saw many things, which, although new to us, seemed familiar because of her oft-repeated stories in regard to them. Although we had a pleasant time, because of the sociability and kindness of the people we visited, yet our hearts were saddened that we found none of our relatives enjoying a clear experience of salvation.
George returned to the West and I remained for sometime longer with an uncle, Mother's brother. I did what I could while I was there to lead these dear ones to see the full light of Christianity, but I do not know whether or not I accomplished anything. The time was now drawing near for me to return to the West, and I did not have money enough to pay my way. I felt ashamed to let my relatives know anything about it, as I had been telling them of God's goodness in providing for me and trying to teach them to trust God for all things. I had hoped that George, who knew something of my financial straits, would send me some money. I was expecting to hear from him, but when he did write, he sent only a postal card. My uncle's folks had spoken in a way that showed doubt as to whether I had money enough to pay my car-fare, but I had told them that I was trusting the Lord and that he would provide.
I prayed very earnestly and the Lord seemed to bring to my mind an incident connected with the crossing of the Jordan by the children of Israel. They had to prove God by stepping into the edge of the water before he saw fit to make the waters roll back, thus opening a path for them through the river. I was impressed that God wanted to test me and that I should have to be willing to go to the depot without the money. Uncle did not take me to the depot, but found a chance for me to ride with a neighbor. At the depot I met a man who professed to be a saint, and I wondered if he would not help me pay my way. He had intimated that he might help me. But he did not ask me whether I needed any money, nor did he offer to give me any. I was asking God earnestly what to do, and I had just about decided to buy a ticket to a point as far as my money would pay and then to trust God for the rest of my fare, when, looking up, I saw in the distance some one coming through the heat, and as he drew nearer, I recognized him as Uncle.
He had not come to the depot with me, as he was afraid it would be too hard for him to walk back, but now he was coming. I wondered why, and when he got near me I said, |O Uncle! why did you come through this heat?| The tears began to roll down his face, and he said, |Mary, I was afraid you didn't have enough money.| |Uncle,| I said, |I guess God showed you, for I didn't have enough. I lack about fifty cents.| He said, |When I was at your home, your brothers were so good to help me that I felt it was my duty to see that you had enough money to pay your way.| |Uncle,| I said, |I won't need more than fifty cents.| |Here is a dollar; take it.| |No, you give me just fifty cents.| He did so, and I had just a few cents more than enough to pay my fare.
I can almost see the dear old soul yet coming through the heat almost exhausted -- and then to think how good the Lord was to help me in this time of need! The thought of the Lord's kindness melted me to tears, and I thanked him over and over. This incident shows, too, that many times a kind deed long forgotten is rewarded at a later time when help is much needed. Let us not forget to |scatter deeds of kindness for our reaping by and by.|
A short time after this we went on a visit to the old home at Windsor, Mo. The night after we came an electric storm passed over the little town, accompanied with a high wind and torrents of rain.
While the storm was at its height, lightning struck the belfry of the Baptist chapel, two doors from our house. The meeting-house was soon in flames, and the high wind hurled great pieces of burning timbers over our house, and for a while there seemed great danger of its taking fire too. Mother was quite uneasy, but God made us to know that he would protect us.
While on this visit, George and I went about twenty miles distance in a buggy to visit a brother and a sister and their families. While on our return trip we stopped at the little town of Lincoln to water our horses, and George took the bits out of the horse's mouth to let him drink. The animal became frightened at the sound of the wind-mill where we were watering, and began to run, and as there were no bits in his mouth, the lines in my hands were useless. My brother undertook to hold the horse, but under the circumstances he could not do so. He saw that my life was in danger, and in trying to rescue me he got wound up in the lines and was hurt quite a little. I was thrown out of the buggy and dragged about a hundred yards and badly injured internally. When George got to me, I was unconscious, but I soon came to myself. Then we both called earnestly on God, who answered prayer. We were both sufficiently relieved so that when the horse got over its fright and the buggy was repaired, we started on our journey of seventeen miles home. We thanked God that the sky was clouded over; thus God held his big umbrella over us and gave us protection from the heat, as we were both very sick and in danger of fainting.
I found later that the injury I had received in the runaway was more serious than we had at first thought. I trusted God as best I could for my healing, and we soon started on our way to Neosho Falls, Kansas, to attend a camp-meeting. Within seven days after I was hurt, I was scarcely able to be up at all. My nerves were in such a condition that I could scarcely bear any noise at all, not even the sound of a person's voice. Because of the weakness and the pain I suffered, I missed most of the meeting and lay in bed for about three weeks after the meeting closed. The injury had so affected my brain that I was not capable of grasping God's promises for my healing. About this time I had a dream. I was in a large ship that was in a sinking condition. I was not in the water, but was clinging desperately to the side of the vessel. We called for help, and a tug-boat came to our rescue. Fearing I could not hold on much longer, I called to them to hurry. They replied that they must rescue Sister Martin first. I awoke, and the Lord made me to know that, owing to the condition of my brain, I could not myself obtain healing, and that I should ask the church to help bear the burden. So I got the church at Neosho Falls to fast and pray, and we also had the saints in Moundsville to agree with us in prayer. God heard prayer, healed my body, and my brother and I soon started on our journey east again.
On our way we stopped at home and stayed over one night. One of the sisters in that neighborhood begged me to remain and rest a whole year, saying if I did not I would soon be in my grave. My reply was: |I need more than a rest. God wants me to go. He can help me where I am going as well as at home. Pray for me, sister, that God will grant me all the healing I yet need.| She promised me she would. From this time on I gained rapidly, but it was a month or more before I was as strong as usual.
On our way east we went through Kentucky and held some meetings with Brother Kilpatrick. George took the eczema, and after these meetings his condition became serious. For about two months he suffered greatly. During this time he could not sit down, but had to either stand or lie. Before he recovered, we got a call to come to Chicago. We started, but George was so feeble that I did not know whether or not he would live until we got to our destination. The brother with whom we had been staying insisted that we stay longer, but we felt God urging us on, so we went.