“One very cold day when I had not eaten anything that day, I sat down at the microphone at three o’clock in the afternoon and preached on ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want’ (Ps. 23:1). I went by the post office and found the box empty as usual. So I started back to the Y.M.C.A. over the Federal Street Bridge which spans the Allegheny River just above its confluence with the Monongahela, forming the Ohio. I stopped and put my hand on the steel rail on the banister and looked out over the frozen river. I did not see any green pastures. All I could see was white and black. It would snow a while and soot a while. When I started to take my hand away from the rail, the skin just above my glove had frozen to the steel. I pulled it away and said, ‘Lord, I thought You were my Shepherd. Well, if You are, I am a hungry sheep. If I had a hungry sheep and could feed him, I would do so.’
“I started on, and there in the snow was a little ragged purse from a lady’s pocketbook. I picked it up, and it contained two buffalo nickels. I went back across the bridge to a White Castle hamburger stand and bought two hamburgers. They were five cents apiece in 1932.
“When I got to the Y.M.C.A., the clerk at the desk said, ‘Fellow, you hit the jackpot.’ He poured out a large bundle of mail. My predecessor had had all of the mail forwarded from the post office box to himself in Washington D.C. He wanted to be sure to get any mail intended for him personally. He had learned somehow where I was staying and sent the mail back to me. There were two weeks’ checks from Dr. Jones and gifts for the broadcast from all over Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Western New York.
“It was as if God leaned over the battlements of Heaven that day and said, ‘All right, son, if you can’t wait until you get to the Y.M.C.A., there is a dime; go get some hamburgers.’
“I had rather have those two little buffalo nickels in my memory than to have a dividend check for a thousand dollars. That is in my memory” (Through Sunshine and Shadows, pp. 108, 109).
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