The Winter Coat

Joanna Fullner

READ : Matthew 6:28-34

And why do you worry about clothes? (v. 28, NIV)

One day in October, I asked one of my Chinese students to accompany me to the local department store to select a winter jacket. We walked about a half mile down a dirty, dusty road to catch a bus that took us downtown. As I tried on several jackets, I was surrounded by about thirty people, staring and asking my student questions about me. Finally, I decided on a green, down-filled coat that cost a fraction of the price it would have been in America. My student helped me pay for it with my little bundle of cash.

As we were walking home, I thanked her for helping me that day. “It is my honor,” she replied. “I looked at that same coat a few weeks ago, but it was too expensive for me.” I felt ashamed. Had I flaunted my wealth in front of her? She had bought a less expensive jacket, not nearly as warm as the one I had.

My jacket served me well that winter and the next, keeping me warm inside the unheated classrooms and outside as I walked and rode my bike. I will always appreciate my student’s kind help that day. And I pray that I will always be sensitive to others.


Dear Lord, may this student someday come to know you, the provider of all good things. In Jesus’ name. Amen.