“The Christmas Visit”
The story has been told of one old and lonely man, who long ago had seen all his friends and loved ones pass on, And the night before Christmas – he had a dream. In that dream the Lord appeared to him and said “Tomorrow, on Christmas, I’m coming to your house to be your special guest”. So, when the man awoke, he was so happy and excited that Christ was coming. So, he set his old and weary body busy, decorating his modest little home with holiday and brightly colored decorations. He placed his finest silver and all the best foods he could find -then he waited and listened oh so closely to hear the steps of the Lord coming to his door. He thought “How wonderful it will be to open my door and see my Lord’s Face. This would truly be a happy and wonderful day”.
As he sat waiting, suddenly he heard a sound, so he ran to his window and looked outside. But all he saw standing in the snow was a shabby beggar, wearing worn and ragged clothes and his shoes were torn. At first, the old man was sad, it wasn’t his special Christmas guest. But, once he looked at the cold and shabby beggar, he opened his door. “You must be so cold” he said, “and your poor feet must be frozen”. So, he asked the beggar inside. He fed him, gave him a nice warm coat and some new shoes. The old beggar was so thankful, but as he left, the old man noticed the clock. The day was slipping away – and the Lord had not come. Just how much longer would he have to wait?
Then he heard a knock and he ran to the door, it was an old lady bent over with a bundle of kindling piled on her back. She asked for a place to rest. So, the old man invited her in and she sat on the very chair he had reserved for Christ. He gave her a warm cup of soup and allowed her to sit and rest. But the old man was worried – the day was just about gone. Had he misunderstood the Lord? But, when the old lady left, the old man got one last knock and he heard a cry “please help me – I am lost”. It was a lost child who had wandered in the snow and was lost. The old man helped the child home.
But when he returned back to his own house, the old man was so sad. The day was gone – the Lord had never come. He knelt and prayed – why Lord didn’t you come? But then he heard a voice. It was the Lord. He said, do not dismay, I did come to you three times today. I was the beggar with cold sore feet, and I was the old woman you gave something to eat, and I was the child you helped back home. I knocked three times and three times you answered. Each time I found your warmth and your love. Of all the gifts – love is the best – I was honored to be your Christmas Guest.