Ruth and her Visitor

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 neighbourhood Saturday afternoon and I would
like to visit.
Love Always,

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 it's 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 of twelve cents to last her
until Monday.

Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meagre 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

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

The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and he
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."
She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

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,

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


Author Unknown

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