Begger Woman with Hungry Child: Christ in Disguise

7 06 2014

In Tolstoy’s beautiful story, Where Love is, God Is, there is the story of an old cobbler who hears a voice in his sleep one night. The voice tells him that on the very next day the Lord Jesus will visit him. Next morning, he begins his work in a spirit of high expectation as he eagerly awaits the coming of the Lord. But the only visitors he has that day are people in distress. First, there is an emaciated old beggar with a rattling tubercular cough. The old cobbler takes him in, warms him by the fire and gives him food. Next comes a half frozen, thinly clad woman carrying her hungry baby in her arms. She needs food and clothing and the old cobbler obliges. Then an old apple-woman comes. She is terribly upset because a boy has tried to steal her apples. The cobbler knows the boy and he is able to bring the two together and reconcile them. This day has not turned out as expected, but the cobbler has not forgotten the promise of the Lord’s visit. Tired now, he falls asleep in his chair and he hears the same voice from the previous night, ‘I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you ministered to me’.

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