For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6One of the most hopeless cases ever brought into the Moyamensing Prison in Philadelphia, was Deb. She was convicted of a crime of violence. She was a huge, fierce woman, who had been born and had lived in the slums of Alaska Street. She was a drunkard and dissolute from childhood. The chaplain, after she had been under his charge for six months, shook his head hopelessly and passed by her cell without a word.
But one day the matron, taking a bunch of purple flowers from her hat, gave them to "Deb" carelessly, with a pleasant word or two. The woman started in astonishment and then thanked her earnestly. The next day the matron saw the flowers, each leaf straightened and smoothed, pinned up on the wall of the cell. Deb, in a gentle voice, called attention to them, praised their beauty, and tried, in her clumsy way, to show the pleasure they had given her.
"That woman", said the matron to the chaplain, "has the rarest of all good qualities. She is grateful! There is one square inch of good ground in which to plant your seed". The matron herself planted the seed. Every day she showed some little kindness to the poor, untamed woman, who was gradually softened and subdued simply by affection for this, her first friend, whom she followed like a faithful dog: By and by, the matron took her as a helper in the ward, a favour given only to the convicts whose conduct deserved reward. The matron's hold upon the woman grew stronger each day. At last she told her the story of the Saviour's love and sacrifice. Deb listened with wide, eager eyes. "He died for me — me!" she said. The matron gave up her position, but when Deb was discharged she took her into her house as a servant, trained, taught her, cared for her body and soul, always planting her seeds in that "one inch of good ground."
Deb is now a humble Christian. He died for me, was the thought which lightened her darkened soul.
Source: American Youth's Companion.