A preacher had been told by the head of a great shoe factory, that if he found any poor people who needed shoes, he could come to him and get them. In making his rounds one day soon afterward, the minister invited a man to attend his church.
“I would like to go,” said the man, “but my shoes are so nearly worn out that I would be ashamed to go to a meeting with them, and I am too poor to get any better.”
“Well, that shall not keep you away,” said the preacher; “I will get you a pair of shoes if you will come.”
“But I wouldn’t like to go without my wife,” returned the man, “and her shoes are no better than mine.” The preacher promised to get the shoes for her, too.
“It would hardly be right to leave our three children at home, and they are all barefooted, too,” said the man in a hesitating way.
The preacher saw that he was in for it, and promised that the children should also have shoes. He then got their measurements and went to see his friend the shoe man. He feared that he was presuming too much on the promise he had received, and thought the shoe man might feel that he was abusing his kindness, but when the situation was laid before him, the merchant smiled and said: “All right; come with me.”
Together they took the elevator and went to one of the upper floors, where they landed in a large room that was filled with shoes. The shoe man pointed to one whole side of the room, and said: “All the shoes on these shelves are set aside for just such cases as yours, and when you have any more of the same kind just come here and help yourself.”
Of course the preacher felt very small when he thought of how little he had expected from his generous friend, in proportion to what he was willing to give.