Fiery Coals

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While on a missions trip, the Norwegian evangelist Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824) was once caught in a snowstorm in the fields and got lost, together with his guide. After wandering aimlessly for a while, they caught sight of a light and followed it to a house. The owners, however, refused the weary travelers’ request for a place to stay for the night.

So the two men continued on. They fumbled their way down to the fjord and found a shed that was open on one side. With some effort, Hauge was able to get in. He helped his exhausted guide inside where they found a large bundle of netting. With this they fashioned a makeshift bed and blanket, and they settled down for the night. Despite their wet clothes they quickly fell into a deep sleep.

The following morning, Hauge’s guide was eager to continue the journey, but Hauge said they first needed to pay for their night’s stay. They made their way back to the house where they had been refused entry the night before.

The owner looked puzzled when he opened the door to the two men. He was even more surprised when Hauge politely apologized for breaking into his shed without his permission, and insisted that he pay for the night. He hand- ed the man two thalers and insisted it was in no way too much as two lives had been saved with it. And as Hauge expressed his heartfelt gratitude to God for providing them with a place of shelter, the man became deeply ashamed. He called his wife and told her to set out food and drink for the two guests.

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