who was converted during the Hebrides revival
A phone call changed all that. A phone call to say that my parents were ill, and that I must come immediately to Lewis. I came, concerned about them. They were soon better, and they were soon going to church with the others. It seemed that the whole conversation of the village revolved around what was happening in these meetings. I hated it. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I felt inwardly disturbed when they started to talk about the meetings and started to talk about conversions. People who had been drunkards were now praying in the prayer meeting. I resisted, and I resented it because basically I was afraid.
The Bible says that the “The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless” (Isa 33:14). So there I was–afraid of the supernatural, afraid that God would come to my life, that God would speak to me–because that was an area that was foreign to me; and I didn’t want anything to do with the things of God. I hoped that maybe at the end of life I might be saved, but not now. I had too much on.
My parents were strict. One night they found me out. They said they weren’t going to the meeting unless I went, too. I went into a rage. Now I want to give you a little insight into what was happening. The church was crowded. The atmosphere was indescribable. One sensed as one came in the drive towards the church a silence already falling upon the people. As they went into the church itself, they moved slowly into their pews and they sat. Sometimes before the service began at all, the tears were flowing. For a person who was unconverted to be in such a situation was not a very comfortable thing.
But as I listened to the singing of the Psalms, they were singing the Word of God. They were singing as if their hearts would burst. The singing sent shivers down my spine. I felt I was being, as it were, hounded into a corner. When the preacher got up, the late Duncan Campbell, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this man was in earnest. He stormed up and down; sometimes down the pulpit steps. The perspiration rolled down his face. He didn’t preach a soft Gospel. “Though the wicked join hand in hand, they shall not go unpunished. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all nations that forget God.”
Hell was made real to us and sin was made a reality. Our condition out of Christ was such as ought to make us fear, and we did fear. Well, I went home that evening in a daze after that meeting. As I entered the door, my father said, “Well, Mary, how did you enjoy that?” I said, “I didn’t enjoy it at all.” Now that was true. I didn’t enjoy it. But strangely, the following night I was there again. They didn’t have to ask me to go anymore. You know, there’s a word that says–and you know it well–“The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.” I was lost. The Son of God was seeking me, although I didn’t know it. I went again and again and again. It seemed (in a way) that I was going against my will, but my feet were taking me there. Even though it meant a walk of 2 1/2 miles, sometimes in wintry weather, we walked and we went.
Everywhere around us, you didn’t need to go to church to sense what was going on. When the Spirit of God is outpoured, why, it seemed God was everywhere. I listened at the door of my father’s bedroom. I could hear that hardened sailor crying out aloud the prayer of the publican, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”