The Scratch in the Window Pane and a Witness to a Friend


In 1775, George Whitefield stopped for several days at the house of a General…

…in Providence, Rhode Island. The general, Mr Thomas Fanning, his wife, son, and three daughters were serious, but not very religious. Whitefield departed from his usual custom, which was to address the residents in the house where he stayed individually concerning the welfare of their souls.

The last evening came, and the last night he was to spend there. He retired to rest, but the Spirit of God came to him in the night, saying, “O man of God, if these people perish, their blood be on your head.” He listened, but the flesh said, “Do not speak to these people. They are so good and so kind that you could not say a harsh thing to them.”

He rose and prayed. The sweat ran down his brow. He was in fear and anxiety. At last a happy thought struck him. He took his diamond ring from his finger, went up to the window, and wrote these words upon the glass, “One thing is needful” He could not summon courage to say a word to the inmates, but went his way. No sooner was he gone than the general, who had a great veneration for him, went into the room be had occupied, and the first thing that struck his attention was the sentence upon the window, “One thing is needful.” That was exactly his case, and the Spirit of God blessed it to his heart.

My dear friend, do you also fear to tell others about Christ?  Is it difficult for you when in a room of people important to you, to draw attention to the things of God?  Are you ever tempted to simply look the other way, when you know you should confront someone about that which would please God?  If the answer is yes, does not the Holy Spirit even now warn you to speak boldly for Christ, and hold not back?

I would urge you to examine yourself and see clearly what is holding you back….. Is it some sin? 

Is it fear of what other people may say of you, or think about you?  Are you afraid that you might lose your status in your company, or be shunned by your friends?   I ask these questions of you, not to condemn you but to point you to Christ. To bring those things out into the open that secretly hold you back from being the fearless witness for Him, that Christ wants you to be.

Is this important? Yes.  Yes, it is very important. And I want to close with these solemn words of our master.

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” –Matthew 10:32-33

There, there it is out in the open. What will you choose?  Will you not confess Christ before all.  I pray that you will confess Christ, and do so fearlessly.


The above picture is the exact window pane, and message, that George Whitefield wrote.