Picture this if you can.
In Czarist Russia it was a wild, wintry night.
The temperature had plummeted to a polar position.
Winds howled and lashed the country with deadly blasts.
But the Czar’s interests must be protected.
A Russian soldier must patrol between two sentry boxes, even on such a night.
Poorly clad, the miserable man marched from one post to another, shivering and chilled to the bone.
Then it started to snow.
Before long, the hills which surrounded that frozen, forsaken place were covered with snow.
The poor sentry is caught in the midst of a soul-destroying blizzard with no chance of relief.
Then a peasant happened to pass nearby on his way home.
Hearing the soldier’s challenge, he identified himself and secured permission to proceed.
But the peasant pitied the man who would in other circumstances be considered his enemy.
‘‘You are cold and must patrol all night,’’ he said kindly, ‘‘here take my coat tonight. I only live a short way from here. You can return it in the morning.’’
The soldier gladly accepted the coat, but even it could not keep out the cold, which seeped through the sentry like poison.
No garment was sufficient to ward off the icy fingers of death.
The next morning his comrades discovered the soldier frozen in the field.
The peasant never recovered his coat. But he did see it again.
A long time afterwards, when the peasant lay on his deathbed, he dreamed Jesus appeared to him.
‘‘You are wearing my coat, Lord,’’ recognising the wrap he had loaned to the sentry.
‘‘Yes,’’ Jesus answered.
‘‘This is the coat you loaned to me that frightful night when I was on duty and you passed by.’’
‘‘But, Lord,’’ objected the peasant, ‘‘you were not that soldier.’’
‘‘No,’’ Jesus replied in the dream.
‘‘But as you have done to the least of my children, you have done it to me. I was naked and you ‘clothed me’.
‘‘He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none: and he that has no food let him do likewise.’’
The greatest satisfaction we can receive in this life is the knowledge we have given to someone in need, purely because the need was there.
Want to feel good? Then give it a go.
- George Deeble, Euroa Christian Fellowship