He That Hath Two Coats
Clifford Harris gladly gave a man his extra pair of shoes (and socks) out of love for the man, not out of a sense of spiritual duty or evangelism strategy.
“He that hath two Coats”
Here is a vivid example of the way in which Clifford tried to give literal fulfilment to the challenge of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, “experimenting” as he called it. It was on that summary of our Lord’s ideal that he tried more and more to base his own discipleship. To his sister Ruth he wrote on June 9: “I have a little room downstairs where I can receive all inquirers. The sayyed has been up from Seh-deh; he wants to be baptized. He was here the other evening: he had on a very old pair of gihvehs, Persian shoes, and I happened to have on a new pair which I was wearing in for long tramps in the holidays. He mentioned the facts of the case, comparing our shoes, and then said that verse about ‘he that hath two coats...’ I felt it was a definite challenge to see if we tried to live up to what we preached, so I quietly took off my shoes and told him to ‘carry on.’ Also he asked for a pair of socks, so I gave him a choice of my shoes and two pairs of socks! It’s all great fun with these fellows and of course they can’t understand why we have more than one pair of shoes!”
“I don’t think,” writes a friend of this incident, “that Clifford gave him the shoes because he wanted to win him for Christ or because he thought it was the right thing to do; but because he was really fond of him, liked him, loved him, though the rest of us could see nothing lovable about the man.”