A Cobbler’s Christmas

You might have read some version of the story of the cobbler’s dream, written by Leo Tolstoy. I have a modified version that I published today in Spanish. I like the story and you might also enjoy it, and read it to your children or grandchildren, so let me give you my version. I’m also including a coloring page. Click below:

The Cobbler’s Christmas

It was the day before Christmas Eve. The cobbler Martin had decorated his humble shop, in hopes that the Lord Jesus would visit him.

That night he dreamed that the next day, on Christmas Eve, the Lord would in fact visit him. He got up early the next morning to get everything ready. He cleaned every corner because he wanted everything to be beautiful for Jesus’ visit.

He waited all morning but all that happened was that an old man approached him, asking to be able to rest for a while. Martin saw that the old man’s shoes were much worn. After offering him some hot coffee to drink, he gave him a new pair of shoes.

“Thanks so much,” said the old man, as he happily went on his way. “These are the best shoes I’ve had in my whole life!”

It was noon and Martin was expecting Jesus to visit him. All that happened was that a woman in worn clothes came by, with a baby in her arms. Martin, the cobbler, felt very sorry for her and gave her a cup of hot coffee and some coins. He even offered her his blanket to wrap the baby, because it was very cold outside.

“The Lord bless you, my good man,” said the woman, with tears in her eyes, as she left the shop.

It was late afternoon and the Lord Jesus had not come to visit the cobbler. Martin looked back and forth down the street but he did not see Jesus. He just saw a boy standing on a corner, crying.

The child was lost, and Martin felt a little upset because he had to leave the shop to help the boy find the way to his house. Perhaps the Lord Jesus comes to my shoe shop when I’m gone, Martin thought, a little worried. But he felt he had to help the child.

Returning to his shop he was sure the Lord had passed by. He imagined what it would have been like at the arrival of Jesus. Martin would have opened the door wide and invited him in. He would have served him coffee and bread with cheese. He would have kissed his hands and washed his feet. Then he would have sat down to talk with Him.

Suddenly Martin heard a voice whispering in his ear.

“Martin, Martin, don’t you know me?” It was the old man looking at him from a corner, and with a smiled he vanished like into a cloud.

“It’s me,” the voice repeated. And from the darkness came the woman with the baby, and she also vanished into the shadows.

“It’s me, Martin,” he again heard the voice saying. And he saw the boy who had been lost, smiling at him. He also disappeared.

Then Martin realized that Jesus had visited him three times that day.

“I was the old man with worn shoes.”
“I was the woman carrying the baby in her arms.”
“I was the lost child, who was crying.”

Martin realized that what we do in love for other people, we do it for Jesus. That night he went to bed very happy to have had Jesus visit him through the people who came to his door.

For the Martin, the cobbler, that was the best Christmas.

Jesus taught us to love our neighbors. He takes into account even the most insignificant act we do on their behalf. Jesus said that when he comes in his glory, with all his angels, he will sit on his throne and judge the nations. To those who have obeyed him, he will say,

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For…

  • I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
  • I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
  • I was a stranger and you invited me in,
  • I needed clothes and you clothed me,
  • I was sick and you looked after me,
  • I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Why did Jesus say something like that? Because to serve others is how we serve him. Jesus may not visit us in person, but to help the needy, is like doing it unto him.

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least
of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
(Jesus in Matthew 25:40)

Read Matthew 25:31-46.


Author: kelund

My name is Kerstin Anderas-Lundquist. I was born in Sweden to Per & Brita Anderas, on March 6, 1946. In 1948 we left to begin a missionary life in Chile; in 1956 we moved on to Peru. On May 1, 1969 I married an all-Swedish guy from Karslkrona: Bengt Göran Emanuel Lundquist. God blessed us with two daughters: Eva-Marie Elizabeth and Ruth Carina. We served as missionaries in Peru and Bolivia. In 1988 we moved to the United States to work at Life Publishers in Miami, Florida. I was to assist in developing the line of Sunday School Curriculm in Spanish known as Vida Nueva. I live in Springfield, Missouri, and am retired from work at the Assemblies of God Headquarters. My husband and daughter Eva-Marie have been promoted to Heaven. Carina is married to Thom Cole and they have given me four gourgeous grandchildren, even five (teen-age John). I will be writing about my life, past and present, blended with visions for the future. My deepest desire is to spread the “seed of love”–inspiration to serve God and our neighbors with love and compassion.

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