A man walking on a street saw in front of a church a poor old beggar who lived from the Christians ‘alms. A little girl approached the old man and gave him a few coins. Impressed by her deed, the passerby asked the girl:
`Tell me, why did you give your money to the old man?`
You know, sir, my father died and my mother, although she works hard, doesn`t have too much money, so we don`t have a very easy life. But last night my mother said when you make a good deed, God rewards you sure as a gun. So today I took these coins I saved them and I gave them to the poor old man sitting in front of the church. He needs them for sure more than me. And God because I made a good deed, will take care of me.
Won by the little girl`s kindness, the man asked her what she wanted the most.
`Oh, I`d like to have a sheepskin as the winter is coming and it will be very cold. Last year I caught a very bad cold, because I was not very well dressed, but God helped me and I recovered. My mother wanted to buy me a sheepskin, but it is very expensive and it is not possible.
`But you will see it`s possible. Come with me.`
Reaching a big store which was across the road, the man bought the girl a very warm and beautiful sheepskin.
The little girl didn`t know how to thank the stranger because he was so generous with her.
`You see, your mother is right`, he said. `God always rewards you for the good deed you made. You helped the old man and God gave me the chance to meet you exactly then. Now I helped you and be sure that God will help me too later since when we help each other God helps us too.
The kinder we are and the more care we have of each other, the more God sees our faith and protects us of evil.
`Each one of us is helped by the other one in a providential way.` (Saint Mark the Ascetic)
Excerpt from The Most Beautiful Orthodox Parables and Tales– Leon Magdan, Aramis Publishing – Romanian Patriarchy, 1998.