A poor widow lived in a small town. One day, a wanderer (странник) asked her for a place to stay the night. As the night was cold, the widow let him in, fed him, and let him stay in her house overnight. Leaving in the morning, the wanderer said to her, “For your kindness, the first thing that you do today, will last all day. The widow quickly forgot the wanderer’s words, not paying them any particular mind. Then, it was time for her to start her daily work… in her case, sewing, which is how she earned her living. A customer brought her a golden thread to use in a sewing project. She began to reel off the thread, but it did not run out until late that evening. She sold the excess wire, and that was enough to change her life for the better. A rich man heard about this… he wanted to invite an elder (старика) to stay for the night, so that he would receive the same reward. Finally, an elder came to his door, so, the rich man was overly polite to him. In the morning, he asked the elder to bless him. The elder promised him that the first thing he did that day, would last for a week. Well, the rich man wanted to run to his shop to count his gold, but he had a cramp, he grabbed his stomach, and, before he could go to his shop, he had to take a wicked dump. No one saw him for a week…
Man proposes; God disposes…
В чем смысл жизни человека? (V chyom smisl zhizni cheloveka : What is the Meaning of Human Life?)
When I read this, I thought of a particular priest… he plants a greasy smile on his face, he’s full of false bonhomie, and he’s a know-all… when I read about the rich man in this story, this priest’s face came into my mind’s eye and stayed there. That’s why these stories have RESONANCE… they reflect our reality unblinkingly and without prettified frou-frou. Also, it’s EARTHY… that’s the sign of the REAL CHURCH, kids… it says “shit” when it means “shit”, no bones about it! There’s no konvertsy prissiness or professorial “niceness” about it!