prodigal father

William Newell, born in the 1800’s, has had an impact on my life.  He was a prodigal whose father did not give up on him.   His pastor father pleaded his cause to   Dr. R A Torrey to allow William to enroll at Moody Bible Institute. Dr. Torrey pointed out that MBI was a school not a reformatory, but after laying out some rigid restrictions he took William as a project and did finally see great gains in the young man’s life.

Included in the demands made on William was that he check into Dr. Torrey’s office daily.  Perhaps it was only to say hello but it illustrates to me the importance of one’s being accountable to some authority who was interested enough in them to give them a part of their day every day.

It worked.  William became a Christian, completed his education and even returned to become a part of the faculty at MBI.

William decided to put his testimony in poem form which was immediately set to music; that is the form in which it reached me. After listening three times through on You Tube, my heart is stirred by the Holy Spirit, who directed the writing of “At Calvary” about 120 years ago—a song whose words echo pathos and victory through the years. “Mercy there was great, and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me. There my burdened soul found liberty, At Calvary.”

A wonderful story of God’s promise to “work all things together for good,” I wonder if William and his father have been able to rejoice in this victory of a father who endured much and did not give up in obtaining help for his prodigal.  And also the man who willingly invited him to be a part of his day.  Imagine what it would be for a “prodigal” student to be invited to come by the principal’s office every day even when he was good!

A few years days ago, I stopped by an assisted living place and met a lady who invited me in for a chat. Her husband was gone at the time – gone to the jail to see about their beloved grandson who was walking the way of the prodigal. Wish I had had this story to tell her. 

(I compiled this biological information from several online sources.)


About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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14 Responses to SOMEONE WHO CARED

  1. judyjourneys says:

    I’ve known this hymn for a long time, but I did not know the story behind it. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. says:

    Your stories are always an inspiration.

  3. Shreya says:

    I never knew it. Hahaa.
    How are you dear?( I don’t what to call you cause I don’t feel like calling you by your name since you are decades elder to me. Suggest something?😂😂)

  4. grAnnie Roo says:

    Oneta, you’ve encouraged me through another day awaiting my prodigal to return. 💙

    • oneta hayes says:

      May you receive comfort and peace knowing your arms are wide open for his/her return. And carry the prayer in your heart for healing forgiveness. And perhaps lots of your steps to peace for each of theirs. You will probably have to do the major part but it will be easy when a step is taken toward you. Pray for someone to be sent to places where you cannot reach.

  5. Faye says:

    Thank you for this post and the inspiration of the story and the song. Blessings.

  6. SarahC says:

    yes there are lots of story behind the song in hymns, very nice to read this

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