Many years ago there lived a man who traveled about the countryside. He was a Peddler, and made his living selling merchandise to local villages. As time went on, he realized that he must expand his customer base, or go out of business.
This worried him, for it meant conducting trade with people he did not know, and who did not know him. Nonetheless he set out, planning to call on towns and villages that were beyond his normal territory.
However, as fate would have it, he ran into immediate bad luck. As he approached the first village, a great storm erupted. Wind, rain and lightning made travel most difficult. Even worse, he carried his wares upon his back, for he could not afford a pack animal.
As he approached the first home, he thought to himself, " I just need shelter, and will ask no more." The Peddler arrived at the front door of a small , but well maintained cottage. Shivering, he knocked feebly on the front door. After a few moments it opened and a stout and formidable looking man of no more than thirty years, answered.
"What do you want?", asked the figure in the doorway.
" Kind sir," replied the Peddler, "I seek shelter from the storm. I am new to this Township, but hope to find new friends and customers from the good people who live here."
The Man frowned slightly, and with a sneer asked; "Do you accept Jesus as you lord and Savior?"
The Peddler was taken aback. No one had ever asked such a question.
"I am not a religious man," he stammered, "but I believe there is good in all of us, regardless of how we find it." The man shook his head and with a sly smile closed the door. His last words, as the door was closing, chilled the already cold and frightened Peddler to the bone.
''We don't want your type around, you are godless."
End of PT 1.
The Peddler was left standing at the front door as the rain continued to come down.
"I don't understand," he thought as he walked to the next cottage. "I have never harmed this man, why would he turn me away?"
Unfortunately, it was only the beginning. Despite the storm, the Peddler was denied sanctuary time and time again.
In each case he was asked if he accepted Jesus as his savior. Being a man of principle, he told the truth. "I respect what you believe," he would say, "but I am a man who has not studied such things. I only seek refuge from the storm."
This honesty only seemed to doom the Peddler, for he reached the last cottage in despair. He thought, "If they do not offer me shelter, where am I to go?"
As he approached the front door his heart sank. The dwelling was small, compared to the others in the village. Further, it had seen better days, for it was in a general state of disrepair. In addition, the
garden surrounding the cottage looked not to have been tended or cared for in quite some time. The Peddler, however, was desperate. He arrived at the front door, and with a heavy sigh, began to knock in earnest. After a few moments the door started to open slowly...
End of PT 2.