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HomeStorytime!Bible StudiesPoems for the HungryAbout the Author
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 
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 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, 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 he headed back
into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her 
"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.


"Neither doctrinal purity nor diligent labor will ever be a substitute for passionate devotion to God."

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