The Stranger, The Stocking Cap, The Mittens

One cold and snowy winter night in the late 60’s, a Hare Krishna devotee arrived at Winnie’s door. This story came forward from the memory of my bonus brother, Greg, and I share it with you.

On this cold winter night, Winnie and Herb answered a knock at the front porch door and saw a man with a shaved head, no boots, no hat and no gloves and was looking for donations for his cause. Winnie and Herb did not have any extra money to give but Winnie instinctively saw his need and went to the back porch and found a stocking cap and mittens that she gave him to keep him warm as he continued on with his work.

Such a simple story that at the time we chuckled at, marveling at this young man for being out in the cold without proper clothing and trying to sell his beliefs to Winnie and Herb who would of course not budge from their rock-solid faith. Today, with more perspective, we enter this story from the actions of Winnie. She did not have the cynicism of today’s culture. She did not just say no and shut the door or make fun of him in any way. She acted as the mother who saw the need of a man at her door and answered that need from her no-nonsense practical life disciplines along with her faith disciplines, which were one and the same. She was not going to allow him to leave without meeting his need. Knowing this woman, we know she did not second guess her action or her thought, she did not stop to ponder it all, she simply acted. 

I think of this young man who met the face of love and care as he knocked on a stranger’s door wanting to offer her his faith in Lord Krishna, the Hindu God of love and compassion, while she showed him her Christian love in her Lord Jesus through her compassionate act of offering. Eye to eye, face to face, these two met.