Once there was a poor, devout woman who always prayed to the her Higher Power asking little, if anything, for herself. But one thought, one desire, continued to surface in her mind. She petitioned her Higher Power with this thought....were it to be possible, she would love to prepare a special meal and have her Higher Power at her table. And Her Higher Power in His love for this religious woman, said he would indeed come the next day and share a meal with her.
Filled with ecstasy, the woman went out the following morning with her meager purse and purchased the delicacies she felt would please the Higher Power. Returning home, she prepared a banquet and waited patiently for her honored guest. Soon there was a knock on her door and when she opened it, there stood an old beggar asking for something to eat.
Being a pious woman with strong faith, she couldn't turn the beggar away, so she invited him in for something to eat. The beggar felt as if he were in a dream, such was the feast before him. He finished all the food, thanked the lady and left.
The woman was only slightly disheartened. She gathered up her purse, her coat, and hurried back to town to get more food for her special guest. Her funds were less now and so the food she purchased was not quiet as elaborate. Nevertheless, she lovingly prepared another meal and awaited the arrival of her Higher Power.
A few hours went by and there was a loud knock on the door. This time it was a woman beggar with no teeth, deaf, who spoke quite loudly and was rather rude, insisting that any true believer would not deny her something to eat. Though the woman had no more money to buy more supplies, she invited the beggar woman in and offered her a seat at the table. The woman ate everything, and left without showing any appreciation and the door still open.
By now it was getting dark both inside and out. The woman's faith was strong, so even though somewhat distraught, she refused to give up. Looking around her humble home she found a little silver cup that had been in her family for several generations. She was willing to part with it, and sell it in exchange for additional food for the great honor of sharing a meal with her Higher Power.
Late that night she rushed home to prepare yet a third meal. She waited and waited until once again there was a knock on the door. Holding her breath, she slowly opened the door to find yet another poor man dressed as a wandering monk in search of a meal.
Again, she offered her hospitality, with as much grace as she could muster in her disappointment. The monk ate all the food on the table and left after blessing the woman for her kindness. The woman was so discouraged and dismayed that she could only lightly nod in thanks.
Now it was too late to buy any more food and she had no more money, anyway. She got down on her knees, weeping heart-broken tears. She asked her Higher Power what she had done wrong. Why had she not come to share a meal at her table as she had promised?
Then, her Higher Power, in Her divine compassion and mercy, lifted the woman off her knees, and held her close to Her heart, saying
"My child, I enjoyed your hospitality so much that I came three times"
May this Thanksgiving season bring you to an open heart, mind and soul... helping those less fortunate then yourselves and enable you to connect with your Higher Power.