Antiquarian Anabaptist

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Kindness does more than violence

Here is another story that was told to Ruben Saillens.

An Anabaptist and his wife were sleeping peacefully in their hut at the edge of the road, when some young men returning from a party in a neighbouring village passed by.

“Look. Here’s the home of the old Anabaptist. Why don’t we play a trick on him?” said one of them.

“Yes, but what?”

“I have an idea,” said the leader, “we will uncover his roof without waking him. He will have the pleasure of sleeping under the stars without knowing it. Can’t you see their surprise in the morning in not seeing a roof over their heads?”

The young men immediately agreed and mounting on the thatched roof, they removed sheaf after sheaf with suppressed chuckles.

But the man was only half asleep. He heard some noise, awoke fully, looked up and saw the stars shining through a large hole above him. He heard voices whispering; he understood what was happening.

“Wake up,” he said to his sleeping wife, “get up quickly and prepare coffee.”

The woman obeyed, and both quickly dressed. Then the Anabaptist opened his door and shouted to the young men:

“My friends, you are doing tiring work. When you have finished, I hope that you will give us the pleasure to come in and drink some hot coffee, that will refresh you.”

Thunder falling among them would not have produced more shock in the group than the appearance and the simple language of the man.

All our young people, crestfallen, came down from the roof without saying a word, and pressed by the Christian and his wife entered their home.

The coffee was ready; they drank it. The old man spoke to his young guests in a Christian and affectionate way; many were touched. Finally, the leader exclaimed:

“This was all fine, my friends. But now that we uncovered the roof, it must be put back in place.”

This was done. Some sheaves of fresh straw replaced the rotten thatch and the hut was better than before. “Kindness does more than violence.”

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