Subject: The Visit

Author unknown

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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 a address. She  read the letter:

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Dear Ruth,

We are going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and we would  like to visit.

Always, Your Lord and Lady 

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Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table.

"Why would the God and Goddess 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, 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 a couple important guests for dinner tonight  and I was planning on serving that to them." 

"Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."  The man put his arm round 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 guests." 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 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 and Lady were coming to visit  and she didn't have anything to offer them. 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. It read:

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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,

Your Lord and Lady

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

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