Chapter 3: How a Would-Be Murderer Was Converted Through the "Man in the Moon"

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
 
I WAS traveling on horseback over a high I pass between two mountains on the way to a meeting, with a Brazilian guide, who is also an active Gospel preacher. I asked him to tell me how he was converted, and he willingly told me the following interesting story.
The name of my friend is Prudenciano. He had arranged with another man that they should together murder a mutual enemy, and agreed upon the time and place. The hour was to be late at night, and accordingly Prudenciano set out alone for the rendezvous, in the moonlight. It was a clear night and full moon. When one is going to do a dark deed, too much light is a great inconvenience, so thought Prudenciano, and the moon overhead troubled him. He had to pass over open ground, and heartily wished that the moon would not shine quite so brightly. Looking up at it from time to time, there was the “man-in-the-moon,” as it appeared to be, watching with his two great eyes, and the would-be murderer began to feel very uncomfortable. The watcher, however, kept up the stare, and showed no signs of hiding his face behind a cloud. Prudenciano began to think, and to flag. If the man-in-the-moon made him feel so uncomfortable, what about God? Surely He was watching. The idea of God looking on, and taking note, had not before occurred to him. Soon he felt he could go no further, and slowly went back home. There he got out of sight of the “man-in-the-moon,” but the thought that God was ever watching all his movements began to haunt him. He thought of other misdeeds he had committed, and these began now to trouble him. He had in the house a book of prayers, and began to read and repeat them, but obtained no relief from these exercises. He also possessed a New Testament which he now set himself to study closely. He read on until he came to the verse in Mark 16:1616He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” This brought peace to his soul. Soon after this he heard of Gospel meetings where the Book was explained, and to these he went with great eagerness. He now preaches the Gospel, traveling round for leagues, taking the Message to the many centers around his home.
The other week, when visiting Prudenciano’s meeting, I was on the way to the “Casa de Oracão” with a brother who was my host for the time being, when a man on horseback came up and shook hands most cordially with us both. After he had gone I asked mine host if that man was a believer. He replied, “Oh, no, in fact the other week he murdered a neighbor near here.”
“Why?”
“Oh, they had a quarrel about something or other.”
“Do the police know?”
“Oh, yes.”
“Why don’t they come and take him, then?”
“They will do so when they have arranged a jury to try him.”
“But won’t he run away meanwhile?”
“No, they think not, the man is so sure of the justice of his cause, that he prefers to see it through.”
So we went to the meeting. With neighbors like that man, I have often thought on looking round upon the believers, of the power of the Gospel, for I see there a solid proof of it—all brought to God by different means, yet all through the Same Means.
In another part, I heard of a family converted through another rather strange circumstance. A man was presented with a Bible, and being angry, he threw it into the pigsty. Next morning when he went to feed his pigs, he found them all dead. In dismay, he took out the Bible, thinking that it was the judgment of God upon him for his wickedness in thus treating God’s Book. The result was that he and the family began to read the Bible, and this led to their conversion. This story I heard from a believer who lived in the neighborhood, but had not the opportunity of inquiring as to details, though the truth of it I have since had confirmed. I did inquire, however, as to what the covers of the Bible had been made of, and was told that the covers remained intact, as the Bible had not been touched by the pigs, so the reason of their decease remains a mystery. It proves that “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform,” and the conversion of Prudenancio shows that still God “chooses things which are not” to fulfill His purpose.