KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | January 2018

The Tall Stranger

By Chantal J. Klingbeil

Hundreds of people had crowded into the Latin school in the capital city of Norway. They came to listen to the American preacher who was teaching strange new doctrines about Jesus’ soon coming. Pastor John Matteson was very surprised to see the place bursting at its seams. But as he got up to speak he realized that not all of the people there were ready to listen. Some just wanted to shout and interrupt his sermon, while others wanted to cause a riot.

In the middle of the sermon a well-known minister stood up and started shouting insults at John. Some of his supporters cheered him on, while others hissed. Excitement swept through the audience like a wave through a stormy sea. John realized they were in trouble. 

So many people were crowded into such a small space that things could quickly turn tragic. Three years before in a public meeting, people got so worked up that many were trampled to death trying to reach the door. Two men picked up their chairs and started toward a window to smash their way out.

“God, please help us,” John whispered. At that very moment a tall man stood up in the balcony of the hall and, in a loud voice that was heard above all the shouting, ordered everyone to be quiet immediately. Then the strangest thing happened: everyone sat down and was quiet. One could hear a pin drop. John closed the meeting with prayer.

In the foyer, people crowded around the book table to buy literature. John asked one of the ushers who had been standing at the back to please bring the tall stranger to him; John wanted to thank him for his help. Within minutes the usher was back. No one had seen the tall stranger leave, yet he was nowhere to be found. John realized that once again God had sent His angel to help His servants. We often don’t see them, but sometimes they could very well be tall strangers.


This story is based on Adriel D. Chilson, Gospel Viking (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1981), pp. 82-85.