A woman had a husband who had become heavily addicted to drunkenness. It was more and more difficult for her to bear him, but she did that. Even if sometimes she felt she had no more love for him, she took care of him as much as she could.
Once on an autumn when the rains began, she bought him a new raincoat. But after a few evenings, he came back home without his raincoat. He had given it for two bottles of vodka. When he got in the house, he started to curse.
The woman burst into tears. She prayed tearfully:
God, help me cause I cannot bear this anymore! How long would I go on bearing him? How long would I bear his curses? What is the use of going on living with him? Help me, God, cause I cannot bear it anymore!
By night the woman had a dream with Christ, who was clothed in the raincoat sold by the alcoholic. Christ told her:
”Woman, do not cry, cause everything you do for the good of your husband, you do it for me.” ”I shall not overlook even your slightest sacrifice!”
Waking up from her sleep, the woman went to her spiritual confessor to ask him if her dream had been from God, from nature or from the devil.
”It was from God, sister.” ”Christ wants to strengthen you to bear this heavy cross. Do not reduce your strain to help your husband come back on the right path. And if he treats you badly, treat him nicely in return. No matter how he is, he is your husband anyway. And do not be proud that you had this divine sign. Because by pride you may lose Christ and your salvation. And what is the use of seeing Him in your dream, if you would not see Him in the afterlife, where He is seen by all the believers who take great delight in tasting the heavenly joys?
A lover of Christ while going to his own affairs met a poor man without any coat and feeling pity for him, he gave him his own coat. And the poor going in his way, sold it. And that man after he found out what the poor had done, got terribly upset. The next night Christ showed up in his dream, wearing that coat and showing it to him he said: Do not be upset, because I wear what you gave Me!
Danion Vasile – the Paterikon of the Laymen, Parables for the 21st century, published by Egumenita Publishing House, Galati, 2004, pages 35-36