Break the Ice . . .
Timofei lived in Russia. He was a happy boy . . . all until his parents suddenly died in a horrible accident.
He moved to live with his uncle in Moscow. His uncle was single and never got to marry neither.
He took care of the boy the best he could and the boy never actually suffered from anything.
He always had good clothes, went to good schools and got a decent education.
But at the age of 15, someone told him that his parents actually had left behind a quite big inheritance to him, and wondered where the inheritance had taken the way.
Timofei went to his uncle and asked if it was true about the inheritance. His uncle confessed that it was so, but that the money now was gone . . . used throughout the years by keeping Timofei in good shape, good clothes and good education. That was after his opinion, the best way to use the inheritance of the boy.
But Timofei did not agree. He got angry, knowing that the inheritance was gone.
He got so angry so he tried to kill his uncle. He fired a shot at him with a gun. But his uncle had a fast reaction, covered his face with his hand and the bullet went through his hand, something which ever after had made the hand useless with a star-mark right through the center of the hand.
Timofei was sentenced to 25 years in a Siberian jail.
In jail, his uncle came 2 times a year to visit him and to show that he didn’t have bad feelings for Timofei . . . not even after what he had done. But Timofei didn’t want to meet him. The anger in his mind and heart was unchangeable.
Timofei had although a very good behavior in the jail, so after 15 years he got released.
But he didn’t want to go back to Moscow, so he found a job and accommodation in a small village in Siberia.
He was hard-working so he soon enjoyed high respect among the citizen. After some time he even got to know a girl, who introduced him to the church.
They got married and Timofei started to go regular to the church with his wife.
But still, he didn’t want to meet his uncle when he came to visit. It was his wife who updated his uncle about their life.
Every evening, Timofei prayed to Good, asking if He could come in person to visit.
His wife told him that such thing could not happen, but Timofei was sure of that if he only prayed strong enough, The Lord himself would come.
When Christmas came, he told his wife to set the table for one person extra, since he expected God to come.
But God did not come . . .
Every year after this, he continued to tell his wife to set the table for one person extra, and every year he got more and more sure that this year He would come.
25 years went this way and the people in the village for long time had started to believe that he was a “strange minded” man.
But still, he wouldn’t meet his uncle and when it came letters, he only tore them without even open them.
His wife had several times during the years, tried to bring him to make peace with his uncle . . . without success.
Now, his uncle started to get old, and he had got a lethal illness. He knew he would die soon.
He wrote a letter to Timofei to tell him about his situation and asked Timofei for forgiveness for having used his inheritance.
But also this time, Timofei only tore the letter without open it and throw it in the trash-can.
Christmas came, and as usually in Siberia, there came a lot of snow and snow-storms howled around the walls of the house.
Also this year, Timofei ordered his wife to set the table for one person extra at the end of the table.
In Moscow, his uncle now knew that he would not live through the winter and it became important for him to get Timofei’s forgiveness before he died. Since Timofei didn’t answer his letters, he now decided to make a last visit.
He took the train to the village, but had to walk a long distance to the remote area where Timofei lived.
As he walked, it turned up a furious storm. The snow fast covered the track leading to Timofei’s house. After a while, he was not sure if he had gone lost and off the track. The snow reached him to the knees and made it difficult to continue.
He felt that he wouldn’t reach Timofei in time. He fell over and couldn’t come up on his feet again.
At the house of Timofei, the dinner was finish and his wife urged him to the table so they could start to eat. But Timofei said they should wait for a moment. This Christmas, he was sure The Lord would come in person.
The sow-storm howled around the corner of the house and earlier that day the windows almost broke in the wind, so he had gone out to put the shutters for the windows.
Suddenly, through the noise of the storm, they could hear knocking at the door.
Timofei shouted happily to his wife; “ It’s God coming, I told you that He would come . . . I told you.”
He went to open the door and almost could not hold the door for the strong wind and snow whirling into the room.
Outside, he saw a person in a big cloak with a huge hood covering the face and a strange light like a candle, was shining over his head.
Timofei took hold on the person and welcomed Him into their humble home. He led Him to the fire-place so He could warm himself a bit, then told Him to come to the table and eat with them . . . He was led to the end of the table, “the master’s seat”.
Timofei helped Him to take off the big cloak and they sat down to eat.
As the stranger took the knife in his hand, Timofei noticed the weakness in the stranger’s hand and suddenly he saw the mark of a star in His hand. Timofei was now sure this was The Lord, having the mark of the nails in his hands.
Humbly Timofei noticed it loud . . .
The stranger looked at him and said: “No, my son . . . I’m not Christ. I’m your uncle you do not recognize. The mark in my hand is from the shot you gave me.”
He continued: “You have always been like a son to me and I don’t have anybody else as family. Now I’m dieing of cancer but I wanted to visit you before I die, to ask for forgiveness. “
He also told Timofei how he almost died on his way. How he had lost the track to the house and fell in the snow. How the snow fast had covered him, when he suddenly could see a light on distance. He didn’t know from where he got the strength, but as he believed that the light came from the house of Timofei, he rose and followed the light. Every time he believed that he was at the light, the light had moved a bit more forward . . . . all until he was standing at the door, not knowing it was the door at Timofei’s house.
Timofei didn’t know how to react; he was taken by surprise and was off guard. He looked at his wife.
She looked at him and silent opened the Bible and started to read . . . . As she read, Timofei understood . . . . It had come to a time of forgiveness.
(They ate in silence and his uncle lived with them until he died 4 months later.)