by Judge Roy Moore
The old man was alone by the fire that night;
His wife and his kids were in bed.
Christmas was near, but he was out of a job
And could barely keep his family fed.
It was snowing outside and cold in the room,
Because he had little wood left to burn.
This would be a sad Christmas with cupboards so bare,
For he had run out of places to turn.
In the firelight dim, he folded his hands,
And knelt by an old chair to pray.
“Dear Lord,” he said, as a tear he shed,
“I don’t know just what I should say.”
Then came a knock on the door; he could pray no more;
‘Twas a young man in the shivering night.
His coat was old and his shoes were worn;
He was really quite a pitiful sight.
“I’ve been walking all night,” the young man said,
“And my home is still far away.
If I may warm by your fire for a while,
Only a minute I will stay.”
The old man threw a log on the fire,
And made him a bite to eat.
“You’re very kind, sir,” said the young lad,
As the old man gave him his seat.
“Where are you bound on this cold winter night,
Dressed so ragged and bare?”
“I’m headed home,” replied the young man,
“My father waits for me there.
“I wouldn’t care about this ragged old coat,
If only his face I could see.
When I get home, I’ll have all I need,
For there with my father I’ll be.”
He then went to leave, so the old man got up,
And brought out the only coat he had.
“Here, take my coat,” he said with a smile,
“For the weather is exceptionally bad.”
The lad said goodbye before the old man could ask,
For he wanted his name to know.
But when he looked out the door, the stranger had gone,
And not a trace could be found in the snow.
But there in the yard was a new stack of wood,
Higher than a man could build.
And when he looked in the kitchen, he couldn’t believe
That all the cupboards were filled.
The chair in which the stranger had sat,
Was now one made of pure gold.
On the back of the chair, a note was pinned,
And this is the message it told.
“My Father and yours are one and the same,
You’ve been a good brother to me.
What a man sows, so shall he reap,
And thus, it shall always be.
“When I knocked on the door, you opened it to me,
And gave me what you needed too.
Now as you have done for a stranger in need,
So shall it be done unto you.”
Judge Roy Moore is the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and the current president of the Foundation for Moral Law.