The Gypsy Boy

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 4
Passing near an encampment of gypsies I learned that one of their number was ill, and begged to be allowed to see him. The gypsy father asked:
“Do you want to talk about religion to him?"
“No.”
“What, then?"
“About Christ.”
“Oh, then you may go; but if you talk religion, I'll set the dog on you!”
In the caravan I found a lad alone, and in bed, evidently in the last stage of consumption. His eyes were closed and he looked as one already dead. Very slowly in his ear I repeated John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16):
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I repeated it five times without any apparent response—he did not seem to hear even with the outward ear. On repeating it the sixth time, however, he opened his eyes and smiled. To my delight he whispered:
“And I never thanked Him! But nobody ever told me. Only a poor gypsy boy! I see! I see! I see! I thank Him kindly!”
He closed his eyes with an expression of intense satisfaction. As I knelt beside him I thanked God. His lips moved again. I caught, "That's it!" There were more words, but I could not hear them.
On going again the next day, I found the lad had died, (or rather, he had "fallen asleep in Christ"—1 Cor. 15:1818Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. (1 Corinthians 15:18)).