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Listen, Act and Follow: All About a Coat

Do you ever get the itching to purge – to get rid of all the STUFF that just, somehow, has found its way into your home; never really realizing it was a permanent resident, and then finally coming to the realization that the visit ended up being for 45 years.

We had a rack of just that – coats – an accumulation of all sizes, all out of date COATS – in our basement – a combination of hockey coats – from the Huskie years, ball coats from 5 men in my life, my very first coat Joel bought me when we were dating, and a coat I bought Joel 44 years ago – one of those long wool trench coats that all men wore to church back then. I’m sure we could hardly afford it. But the men in our church looked stylish and dapper LOL Really????

Don’t you think it was overdue to get rid of them? Our basement has never been finished, so I just have never bothered about it.

I decided to deal with history. I took bags downstairs and filled them with coats, planning on taking them to the bin in Floradale as I support the diabetic bin. When I went to reach for that 44-year-old trench coat of Joel’s, I felt God’s presence and His voice saying, “Not Yet.”

So, I left it. Not knowing why but I wanted to listen.

I had to wait… When taking a bible study by Priscilla Shirer she shared these wise words. “Waiting is not the same as inactivity. Waiting is a commitment to continue in obedience until God speaks.”

So, I waited………

Weeks passed and I never thought anything more of the coat until……

With Christmas coming I spent a lot of time in prayer ASKING or maybe some people would say – PLEADED with my God – that He would speak to me or show me more Intimately Himself in some way this Christmas Season.

On December 21st, as I was spending time in prayer, doing my devotional – God put before me thoughts of the Homeless and……….

He put THAT coat back in my mind.

I said – OK Lord – Speak to me. I want to Listen.

I went downstairs and took the coat – the only one there – and put it into the back seat of the car. That was the first step. Went upstairs, got ready and decided to head out and see where God was leading me. I had no idea.

I drove into Floradale thinking it would be easy for me to just drop the coat in the bin, but knew that was not in God’s plan, so I drove on. It was not in my plan either, I just knew it would have been an easier-out, BUT I also knew I would have been totally disappointed in myself.

Ok, let’s be honest – my car just automatically goes straight to the mall when I have no real plans. So that is where I headed.

I parked the car and went into the mall. I knew in my heart I was delaying dealing with the coat and where God wanted to lead me. I knew I had stopped listening. After walking in total circles, not making any sense to my purpose of being at the mall, I looked up to the ceiling and said, “Ok Lord, take me from here and lead me to where you want me to go.”

Psalms 119:35 – Direct me in the path of your commands, for There I find delight

Take a drive with me……

I got into the car. I was facing Davenport Road and from there, I felt God’s leading. Turning right, heading down to Columbia and over to Weber Street. A feeling led me to turn left as Union Street came into my mind. I kept praying for complete understanding.

Approaching Union, my intuition was to turn right. I came up to King Street and God led me to turn left. OH BOY.

I headed in front of the hospital – lots of pedestrians, busyness of cars, new traffic lights, buses and the train system. HOW Lord, am I to see what you want me to see?

I again had a conversation with “Him.” I reminded God that He needed to bring things to me very clearly. How was I to see anyone in this busyness? The sidewalks were full. I kept going. Downtown Kitchener???? Really?????

Driving down King Street, approaching Queen – I looked over and saw a man against the wall. I looked around me and saw that the busyness had left me. There was a couple people walking, and no cars behind me honking as I slowed down. Lord, is this who you want me to see?

I drove slowly by – up to the lights, turning right on Queen and drove in behind the Walper in an alley to make the block.

I again drove by the man on the sidewalk, looking at him, not knowing if he was homeless or a person enjoying the day resting, and again I made my turns around the block.

Third time, I understood God’s message to me. I drove up onto the brick sidewalk, pulling in between two cement posts, for delivery trucks only, and parked the car. Again, there was no one around me forcing me on. God totally understood my possibility of anxiousness.

I felt so at peace, and I had complete calmness as I continued to pray for God to lead me.

Psalms 46:10 – Be Still and Know that I am God

I reached into my purse and took out some money. If he was homeless, he would have a cup – maybe?? And I didn’t want to offend him by not asking him first, if I could give him a coat.

Getting out of the car, I walked up and knelt in front of him. He looked at me and smiled and as I was putting the money into his torn cup I asked him if I could give him a coat.

He said yes, so I told him I would be right back.

I took the coat and kneeling in front of him I wrapped him in it.

His words to me – Thank you Miss and have a Very Merry Christmas. HE said that to ME

I looked into his eyes. He had the kindest eyes I have ever seen, the warmest smile and a gentle voice.


Through tears of my own I wished him a Merry Christmas, got back in the car and cried all the way down King Street.

Thanking God for the Best Christmas Gift that I could have and remembering the words of a very popular song……

“Would you Know Him if YOU Saw Him….”


Written by Judy Hiller

Cover Photo: Matheus Ferrero

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