It happened one day near December's end when two neighbors Called on an old friend and they found his shop so meager and Lean made gay with thousand bows of green and Conrad was Sitting with faces shining when he suddenly stopped as he Stitched a twine and he said "Old friends, it dawned today As the cock was crowing the night away the Lord appeared in A dream to me and said "I'm coming your guest to be." So I've been busy with feet of stern strewing my shop with Branches of fern. The table is spread and the kettle is shine. And over the rafters the holly is twine. Now I'll wait for my Lord to appear and listen closely so I will hear his step as He nears my humble place. And I'll open the door and look on His face. So his friends went home and left Conrad alone for this Was the happiest day he had known. For long since his family had Passed away and Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas Day. But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas Guest this Christmas Would be the dearest and best. So he listened with only joy in his heart and with Every sound he would rise with a start and look for the Lord to be at his door. Like the vision he had had a few hours before. So he ran to the window after hearing a sound but all he could See on the snow covered ground was a shabby beggar whose shoes Were torn and all of his clothes were ragged and worn. But Conrad was touched and he went to the door And he said "You know your feet must be frozen and sore. I have some shoes in my shop for you and a coat that will Keep you warmer too." So with grateful heart the man went away But Conrad noticed the time of day and wondered what made the Lord so late and how much longer he'd have to wait. When he heard a knock he ran to the door but it was Only a stranger once more. A bent old lady with a shawl of Black with a bundle of kindling piled on her back. She asked For only a place to rest but that was reserved for Conrad's Great guest. But her voice seemed to plead "Don't send me away, Let me rest for awhile on Christmas Day", so Conrad brewed Her a steaming cup and told her to set at the table and sup. But after she left he was filled with dismay for He saw that the hours were slipping away and the Lord hadn't come as He said he would. Then Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood. When out of of the stillness he heard a cry "Please Help me and tell me where am I?" So again he opened his Friendly door and stood disapointed as twice before. It was only a child that wandered away and was lost from Her family on Christmas Day. Again Conrad's heart was heavy and sad but he knew He should make the little girl glad. So he called her in And he wiped her tears, quieted all her childish fears. Then he led her back to her home once more but as he Entered his own darkened door he knew the Lord was not coming today. Well the hours of Christmas had passed away so he Went to his room and knelt down to pray and he said "Dear Lord, why did you delay? What kept you from Coming to call on me? For I wanted so much your face to see. " When soft in the silence a voice he heard. "Lift up your head for I kept my word. Three times my shadow crossed your floor And three times I came to your lowly door. I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet And I was the woman you gave something to eat. I was the child on the homeless street. Three times I knocked, and three times I came in. And each time I found the warmth of a friend. Of all the gifts, love is the best. And I was honored to be your Christmas Guest.