Elisabeth took another look at the envelope she just got in the mailbox. It was a very unusual one, there was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. Inside was a beautifully handwritten letter. It was spreading a faint warm light and she thought she could hear uplifting music while she was holding the paper.
She read the letter one more time…
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, Elisabeth 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. Seven dollars and forty cents.
– Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.
She threw on her coat and ran out the door. She bought a loaf of french bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk…leaving her with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt satisfied as she was heading home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
– Hey lady, can you help us?
Elisabeth 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.
– I don’t have a job, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting hungry and, well, if you could help us, we’d really appreciate it.
Elisabeth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and 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.
– I see. Thank you anyway.
The man put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Elisabeth felt a 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.
So she handed the man her grocery bag.
– Thank you, lady. Thank you very much!
– Yes, thank you! Said the man’s wife.
Elisabeth could see that the woman was shivering.
– You know, I have another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one?
– You’re very kind. Thank you so much!
Elisabeth 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. She 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. The paper was spreading very warm light and she could hear angels singing:
It was so good seeing you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you for the beautiful coat as well.
Love Always, Jesus”