Wayne Smith was the much beloved Pastor of Southland Christian Church in Lexington, KY — a church he started in 1956 and served for 40 years until 1996. He has been, and still is, one of the major influences in my life and ministry. He used to tell the following story and no matter how many times you’ve heard it, you’ll still be moved.
It’s the story of when British Prime Minister William Gladstone came to the House of Commons to announce the death of Princess Alice on December 14, 1878. He did so by sharing a touching story.
Her young daughter had been very ill with diphtheria and Princess Alice was forbidden by the physicians from kissing her because of the almost certainty of contracting the disease from the child’s breath.
"She rubbed her back and gently encouraged her. Everything was going to be all right.”
One day, as her daughter was struggling to breathe, she picked her up into her arms to keep her from choking to death. She rubbed her back and gently encouraged her. Everything was going to be all right. After a few moments, the child quieted down and the delirium subsided. Then, she looked up at her mother with a smile and said, “Momma, kiss me.”
It was too much for the mother’s heart. Without stopping to think, she tenderly kissed her daughter and hugged her with an embrace only a mother could give. But it was the kiss of death.
It wasn’t many days and her daughter was better, but Princess Alice lay cold and pale in her splendid shroud.
Gladstone concluded, “She gave her life on an impulse of love.”
© 2021. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.