ImageThough the folks at the cultic house church wounded me verbally and kept me on a treadmill of working up my faith to be healed, they did do some good deeds for me. One of them was buying a down-filled parka for me on my eighteenth birthday.

From my soon-to-be-published memoir, here’s an excerpt that shows one act of generosity from the congregation.


The elders of Thee Church likewise demonstrated their concern for my well-being by celebrating my eighteenth birthday. Following supper one Wednesday afternoon, Sister Eileen handed me a bulky package. It contained a greyish-green, down-filled winter parka with a blond fur trim on its hood.

“You looked so cold in that old, brown jacket your dad gave you so we bought this for you,” Sister Eileen explained as I admired the coat.

“Thanks,” I said as gratitude overwhelmed me. “This is really nice.” When I tried it on, it fit well.

“Brother Herald also wrote a poem for you in this card,” Sister Roberta said as she handed it to me.

In my room later that evening, I opened up the envelope. I pulled out the card and studied it under my magnifying glass. Inside a border of flowers, Sister Roberta typed several verses of Brother Herald’s doggerel. Though he exhorted me to face the trials of life, I burst out laughing at one line which read, “At least we know there’s a man in there.” That large coat lasted me for eight years and kept out the cold well.

This act of kindness touched me deeply. In spite of Sister Roberta’s perennial criticism and Brother Herald’s claim that I chose to have poor sight, the church leaders showed they cared about me.


How I Was Razed is the testimony of how God lead me from cultism to Christianity. I hope to have it available soon. Meanwhile, read about my previous memoirs on the Bruce Atchison’s Books link. It’s at the top left corner of my Blogspot page.


Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.

2 thoughts on “THE GIFT OF WARMTH.”

  1. Hi Bruce, I remember my mother buying me a Down jacket when I was a freshman in high school after the sales clerk in a department store assured us that was what all the girls were wearing. That coat served me well for years. Down can be expensive. Your church leaders were definitely very generous.

  2. Hi Bruce. It’s funny how a coat can make it’s way into our hearts. As a child growing up, the articles of clothing that seem to have made the biggest and most lasting impressions on me was, coats. I especially remember when I got my army coat when I was fourteen. I wore that coat every winter, until I was in my twenties. Of course, as fast as I grew, it didn’t fit me too well from my sixteenth birthday, on, but I kept on wearing it, and finally gave it to my son when he was in his teens. He wore it out I think.

    Nice post. Deon

    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

    Vivian Green


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