An Opal Ring and a Piping Bullfinch

Charles Spurgeon’s wife was an invalid for many years and usually unable to accompany her husband on his travels. She writes: “One ever-recurring question when he had to leave me was, ‘What can I bring you, wifey?’ I seldom answered him by a request, for I had all things richly to enjoy, except health. But, one day, when he put the usual query, I said, playfully, ‘I should like an opal ring, and a piping bullfinch!’ He looked surprised, and rather amused; but simply replied, ‘Ah, you know I cannot get those for you!’

Mrs. Spurgeon recalls how they “made merry” over her request for two or three days. Then one Thursday evening Charles returned from the church “with such a beaming face, and such love-lighted eyes, that I knew something had delighted him very much.” He held in his hand a tiny box, from which he took a ring and placed it on her finger. “There is your opal ring, my darling,” he said, and told her how he’d received it. An old lady whom Spurgeon had visited once when she was ill had sent a note to the church requesting that someone come and pick up a small gift for Mrs. Spurgeon. His secretary picked up the parcel and brought it to Charles, who unwrapped it to find the ring.

Mrs. Spurgeon writes, “How we talked of the Lord’s tender love for His stricken child, and of His condescension in thus stooping to supply an unnecessary gratification to His dear servant’s sick one…I can remember feeling that the Lord was very near to us.”

Not long after that God surprised Mrs. Spurgeon again. She writes, “One evening, when my dear husband came from London, he brought a large package with him, and, uncovering it, disclosed a cage containing a lovely piping bullfinch!…He had been to see a dear friend of ours, whose husband was sick unto death; and, after commending the sufferer to God in prayer, Mrs. T– said to him, ‘I want you to take my pet bird to Mrs. Spurgeon, I would give him to none but her; his songs are too much for my poor husband in his weak state, and I know that ‘Bully’ will interest and amuse Mrs. Spurgeon in her loneliness while you are so much away from her.’

She writes, “When ‘Bully’ piped his pretty song, and took a hemp seed as a reward from the lips of his new mistress, there were eyes with joyful tears in them, and hearts overflowing with praise to God, in the little room by the sea that night; and the dear Pastor’s comment was, ‘I think you are one of your Heavenly Father’s spoiled children, and He just gives you whatever you ask for.”

Mrs. Spurgeon reminds us, “He who cares for all the works of His hand, cares with infinite tenderness for the children of His love, and thinks nothing which concerns them too small or too trivial to notice.” She concluded this story saying, “‘Bully’s’ sweet little life and ministry ended at Brighton; but the memory of the Lord’s tenderness in giving him to me is a life-long treasure; and the opal ring glistens on my finger as I write this paragraph.” (from The Full Harvest, The Autobiography of Charles Spurgeon)

Let us thank our Heavenly Father for his intimate care. Jesus reminds us, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Mt. 7:11) What a loving Father we have! Bring all your needs and requests to him. Nothing’s too small or too great to ask – he even gives his children opal rings and piping bullfinches.

  • Brotherhank

    What a testimony! What a loving Father!

  • Mark Altrogge

    Yeah, this testimony really encouraged me as to our Father’s intimate care.

  • Calandria IS5511

    Thank you!

  • Mark Altrogge

    You’re welcome! Thanks for commenting.

  • Anonymous

    One of the ladies at the caring sisters party shared how the Lord used her secret sister to give her very specific gifts that she had been wanting, but did not (or could not) purchase for herself. Among them: a pair of earrings on the day she came to church with none on; a new watch when she hoped for one; and a spoon rest after a fleeting desire for one had crossed her mind in her kitchen that week. How specifically and tenderly the Lord cares for us! And if these are just the material things, think how eager He is to meet us in our souls.
    S. Brode

  • Mark Altrogge

    That’s so cool, Sarah! I’m so encouraged to hear of these specific gracious blessings from Jesus. Thanks!

  • beth

    this story.
    thank you for sharing it again, dad.
    so encouraging.
    A testimony again of His faithful care, love and goodness.