It was a crisp winter morning a blanket of snow had covered the earth during the night. Picture perfect the pine trees looked a deeper green next to the fresh fallen snow. One could not hear the bubbling brook merrily on its way this morning. Its waters lay dormant beneath the covering of ice waiting for the breath of spring to awaken her.
Greg had a pot of coffee on the back of the stove as he prepares breakfast for himself and his faithful retriever. Patiently waiting at his side sat Lovie for his taste of bacon. Looking at the half full wood chest next to the fireplace, reports of a storm brewing, he thought needful to make a trip to the forest for more wood.
A light snow had begun to fall once more as Greg harnessed his horse to the sleigh. “Come on Lovie, wonderful day to play in the snow”. Freedom! God’s country, Greg thought no one to touch His creation. Lovie ran ahead making fresh tracks in the snow, every once in awhile would look back at his master. “Don’t go too far ahead” he called to the dog.
“Father.. I sit in awe of the works of your hand. Majestic your mountains even the snow how delicate yet in a storm how fierce. Who could ever deny you.. no one! My desire Lord.. that I might bid you come.. I know you are real.. we have a relationship in the Secret Place your presence is so very sweet. Father would you not.. my Wish.. my Prayer.. that I might have a visitation with you.. Oh Father that you would..”
In his Spirit Greg heard..”I will.. I will come.
Greg stopped at a grove of trees where he frequently chopped wood. He whistled for Lovie for he had made his own trail over the hill. “That’s my good boy”. As he was nearly finished loading the sleigh..he whispered.. Father.. you said.. and in his Spirit was reassured.. I will my son. “Lovie it’s time to head for home..”
Upon entering his cozy kitchen Greg was filled with gratitude how wonderful to have a warm place to come.. stew brewing on the stove.. my favorite chair.. looking at Lovie snuggled next to the fire. Father so much you have given to me.. in his contentment Greg began to whistle a song his Moma used to sing to him as a child. How dear she was to him.
Greg had a workshop just off the kitchen as a hobby he made furniture or fixed toys. As he was working he heard a soft knock at the door. “Door’s open come in”. Again a very soft knock as Greg opened the door there stood a young lad about eight or ten years of age.
“What can I do for you lad”?
“I am visiting my grandpa and I lost my way.. I most have gone too far”.
“What is your name young man”?
“Billy Jacobs, sir but my grandpa is Soul Grobin”, he replied.
“I know your granddad well. Would you like to go in the sleigh or ride on the horse with me"?
“I never had a sleigh ride sir”, Billy replied.
“A sleigh ride it is Billy, I will just get my coat. Would you like a hot chocolate or something.. are you cold”?
“No thank you sir”.
On the way home Greg thought what a respectful lad. Glad I was there to take him home, Lord.
Since his stew was not ready Greg went back to work on his chair a Christmas present for his Dad. Another knock at the door but this knock was much firmer than before. "“ust a minute I’m coming” Greg called out.
There stood an elderly man all covered with snow. Come in Sir, must be getting cold”.
“It is! Didn’t take notice of the time beginning to get dark. I live on the next farm over and ran out of wood. They say there is a storm brewing and the young man who cuts wood for me didn’t show up. I will be glad to pay for the wood”.
“Bless God, Greg replied. My dog and I went into the woods today to chop wood. I noticed I was running low myself. There is plenty to share with you, my friend. I don’t believe we met sir”.
“McGruber.. Tom McGruber”, he replied. Purchased the Blease farm a few months back”.
“I will load up my sleigh, Mr. McGruber. Have a seat near the fire while I hitch up my horse”.
Greg put enough wood in the sleigh for a few days. Surely know he can’t chop wood, Lord my goodness. Wonder why his young man didn’t show up?
“Ready Mr. McGruber.. I got you a blanket to put across your lap in the sleigh. A little bit of a wind is starting to blow”.
“Most kind, young man. By the way what is your name”?
“Greg sir..Greg McAlister”.
“God bless you Greg.. you are a good neighbor! How much do you want for the wood”?
“My gift to you sir..my pleasure.. glad I could bless you”.
Once again at home Greg took a taste of his stew. Mighty fine, he thought, need some bread for dunking.. my yes and my coffee. Lovie could smell the stew and was wagging his tail. I know boy..I will let you have the end of my bowl.. go and lay down by the fire”.
Just settling in for the night.. sipping his coffee another knock on his door. My goodness Greg thought, who could that be on such a night as this?
A man around his age stood in front of him his hat covered with snow.
“May I rest awhile sir, I have traveled such a long way today. Almost at my destination but am cold and tired. I tied my horse to your rail”.
“Come in of course sir, and perhaps you would like to put your horse in the barn with my horse”?
“That is most kind, my name is Scotty. I’ve come to visit my parents in town. Looks like I should have started earlier.. didn’t know I would run into a storm”.
“They own the country store I believe.. great folks”, Greg replied. Your Moma speaks so highly of her son, Scotty. Feel like I have already met you”.
“Yes sir, wanted to surprise my Moma for Christmas it has been awhile”.
“About to have some stew.. take off those wet cloths and hang them by the fire..come and join me.. love to have the company”, Greg replied.
“That would be a real treat haven’t stopped all day smells wonderful hankering for a cup of coffee”.
Scotty, my name is Greg.. Welcome to my table”!
My cloths must be dry by now Greg. Truly thankful for your warm hospitality I am sure my family would thank you also”.
“A pleasure to have you stop by Scotty.. stop by anytime”!
As Greg was preparing to go to be he said “Lord what a wonderful day you have given to me. I am thankful I could help someone today. I missed your visit so expected to see you Father.. that was my heart’s desire.
“You did see me, my son..” he heard in his Spirit.
“I was the child who lost his way you were loving and kind..giving him a treat to ride in the sleigh. I was the old man who could not chop wood and you gave him more than he asked for.. enough to keep him through the storm. I was the young man on his way home tired, cold, and hungry . you provided a meal.. warmth.. even a place for his horse. You were unselfish and loving to all who knocked at your door. You welcomed Me, my son. I am proud of you.