Suddenly, he heard a voice speak and say, "George, this is Jesus. Tomorrow I am coming to pay you a visit and dine with you."
How excited this made George, to think that Jesus Christ was coming to pay him a visit, eat and be his special guest, especially on Christmas Day! Since he did not know the hour Jesus would arrive, he began to make enough for all three meals. While the meals were cooking, he began to clean his house from top to bottom.
At long last, the meals were cooked to perfection. Also, his house was spotless. Daylight now was approaching. George had not slept a wink, but he felt well rested, now waiting on the arrival of Jesus.
George was resting in his favorite chair, reading the “Christmas Story.” How sad, George thought, as he read the words from Luke 2:7, "There was no room for them at the inn.”
Weeping, he thought the world crowded Jesus out when he was born and still does today.
He began to smile though to himself, "I am so thankful that over 50 years ago, I made room for Jesus by inviting Him into my life.”
Suddenly a knock on his door. As he walked quickly to the door, he thought, “Could this be Jesus so early?”
He opened the door, and there stood a man asking, "Sir, pardon me for disturbing you, but I am so hungry. Do you happen to have something I can eat?"
“Sure, come on in and I will fix you a big plate of food,” George offered.
As the man was eating, George couldn't help but notice the shoes on his feet were practically worn out. George thought to himself, “He wears the same size of shoes I do. I will give him the shoes I just made.”
As the man saw the shoes given to him he said, "Sir I hate to take this new pair of shoes. Don't you have an older pair of shoes you can give me?"
"I want you to have them,” George said.
The man tried to thank him, but George said, "God gave me His best. I am giving you my best."
They each proclaimed “Merry Christmas,” and the man left.
The day was swiftly passing by as George was reading Matthew 2:11, "They presented unto Him Gifts."
George thought, "I am so thankful that I have given the greatest gifts, of my life and of helping others.”
Another knock came upon his door. He opened the door and there stood a lady with no coat on in the freezing cold.
She said, "I am so sorry to bother you, but I am so hungry. Do you have some leftovers you can give me to eat?"
“Sure, come on in,” George replied.
He fixed her a big plate of food. As she was eating, he was looking though his late wife’s clothes, and he saw a new, expensive, heavy coat he had purchased to give her for a Christmas present. The price tag was still on it. He removed the tag and gave it to her.
“I appreciate this, but this is so new,” the woman said. “Can't you give me an older coat?”
“I could, but I am sure my late wife and I would like you to have it,” George stressed.
She also tried to thank him, but George offered, "No thanks is necessary. God gave His best. I give you the best."
They exchanged “Merry Christmas,” and the lady left.
George was now reading Luke 19:10, "To seek and save that which was lost."
Another knock came upon his door.
He opened the door and there stood a lad crying and saying, "Mister, I am lost and hungry. Can you help me?"
“Sure, come on in,” George responded. “I will give you some food and help you find your way home.”
As the lad was eating, George said to him, "Son, can you think of anything that is near your home to help me to help you find your house?”
“Yes, I remember this big cross on a hill and my house is just down that hill from it,” the boy answered.
“I know where that is,” George said. “You have finished eating. Come, let us hurry because I am expecting a special guest this Christmas and it is almost over.”
They arrived at the cross and the lad said, "Look mister, there is my house.”
They arrived at his house. His parents were weeping and rejoicing, as their lost son had been found and arrived safely home.
"How can we thank you?” the grateful parents asked.
“No thanks is necessary,” George answered. “I was lost once, and I allowed Jesus to find me.”
They exchanged “Merry Christmas,” as George was making his way back home as quickly as he could.
As George was arriving at the doorsteps of his home, the clock struck midnight. Christmas Day had come and gone. Exhausted, he made his way to his bed.
George prayed, “Lord, I don't understand. You said you were coming to visit me this Christmas Day."
Then the room lit up as bright as the noonday sun.
"George, this is Jesus,” a voice answered. “I kept my promise to visit and dine with you three times. I was the man who was hungry and needed shoes. You provided both. I was the lady who was hungry and needed a coat. You provided both. I was the lad who was hungry and lost. You fed me and showed me the way home. It was my pleasure to visit you three times, and you made me your honored guest."
Jesus added, “George, you have clearly demonstrated by your unselfish Christian deeds what Christmas is all about."
(Editor’s Note: This copyrighted contribution by Cleveland resident Reuben Hiatt has been submitted to the Cleveland Daily Banner to be used as either a “Letter to the Editor” or a guest column.)