One of my favorite Christmas stories is about the old shoe cobbler who dreamed one Christmas Eve that Jesus would come to visit him the next day. The dream was so real that he was convinced it would come true.
So the next morning he got up & went out & cut green boughs & decorated his little cobbler shop & got all ready for Jesus to come & visit. He was so sure that Jesus was going to come that he just sat down & waited for Him.
The hours passed & Jesus didn't come. But an old man came. He came inside for a moment to get warm out of the winter cold. As the cobbler talked with him he noticed the holes in the old man's shoes, so he reached up on the shelf & got him a new pair of shoes. He made sure they fit & that his socks were dry & sent him on his way.
Still he waited. But Jesus didn't come. An old woman came. A woman who hadn't had a decent meal in two days. They sat & visited for a while, & then he prepared some food for her to eat. He gave her a nourishing meal & sent
her on her way.
Then he sat down again to wait for Jesus. But Jesus still didn't come.
Then he heard a little boy crying out in front of his shop. He went out & talked with the boy, & discovered that the boy had been separated from his parents & didn't know how to get home. So he put on his coat, took the boy by the hand & led him home.
When he came back to his little shoe shop it was almost dark & the streets were emptied of people. And then in a moment of despair he lifted his voice to heaven & said, "Oh Lord Jesus, why didn't you come?"
And then in a moment of silence he seemed to hear a voice saying, "Oh shoe cobbler, lift up your heart. I kept my word. Three times I knocked at your friendly door. Three times my shadow fell across your floor. I was the man with the bruised feet. I was the woman you gave to eat. I was the boy on the homeless street."
Jesus had come. The cobbler just didn't realize it.
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