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RUTH'S SURPRISE GUEST

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter.  She picked it up and looked at it before  opening,  but  then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name  and  address.  She read the letter:

 

 Dear Ruth: 

 I`m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday  afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.

  Love Always,
 Jesus



 Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter  on the table.  "Why would the Lord want to visit me?  I'm nobody special.  I don't have anything to offer."

  With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty  kitchen cabinets.  "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything  to offer.  I'll have to run down to the store and buy  something  for dinner."  She reached for her purse and counted out its  contents. Five dollars and forty cents.  Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at  least."  She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. 

 A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced  turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with grand  total twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home,  her  meager offerings tucked under her arm. 

 "Hey lady, can you help us,lady?" 

 Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she  hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the  alleyway.  

 A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags. 

 "Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife  and I have been living out here on the street,  and,  well, now it's getting cold and we're getting  kinda  hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady,  we'd  really appreciate it."  Ruth looked at them both.  They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly,  she  was certain that they could get some kind of  work  if  they really wanted to.  

 "Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor  woman  myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some
 bread,  and I'm  having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was  planning on serving that to Him."

 "Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks  anyway." 

 The man put his arm around the woman's  shoulders,  turned and headed back into the alley.
 As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar  twinge in her heart. 

 "Sir, wait!" 

 The couple stopped and turned as she  ran down the alley after them.  "Look, why don't you take this food.  I'll figure out something else to serve my  guest." 

 She handed the man her grocery bag.  "Thank you lady. Thank you very much!" 

 "Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth  could see now that she was shivering.

  "You know, I've got another coat at home.  Here, why don't you take this one."  Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over  the  woman's shoulders.  Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street, without  her coat and with nothing to
serve  her guest. 

 "Thank you lady!  Thank you very much!" 

 Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front  door, and worried too.

 The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't  have anything to offer Him.

 She fumbled through her purse for the door key.

 But  as she did, she noticed another envelope in her  mailbox.  "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice  in one day."

 

 Dear Ruth:

  It was so good to see you again.
 Thank you for the lovely meal.  And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

  Love Always,
 Jesus

   The air was still cold, but even without her  coat,  Ruth no longer noticed.

   Thanks to Dana Tilley, Texas

 

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