Tolstoy and the Beggar

Audio / Produced by The High Calling


The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy struggled with the inequities of wealth and poverty. One day as he walked down the street, Tolstoy passed a beggar. Reaching into his pocket to give the beggar money, he found that his pocket was empty.

Looking at the poor man, Tolstoy said, “I'm sorry, my brother, I have nothing to give." To his surprise, the beggar brightened. He said, "You gave me more than I asked for . . . you called me brother."

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Though he lacked the means to restore a man’s finances, Leo Tolstoy had the heart to restore his dignity. Every day, without a single dime, we, too, can make dramatic deposits into impoverished lives . . . in the high calling of our daily work.

Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.

(1 John 2:10)