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Illustration: Hospitality

The story is told of a Kansan who owned a general store. He was a well-intending man who made a habit of offering a verse of Scripture whenever anyone purchased something from him. The group of people who sat around the store in this rural area enjoyed the exchanges, because some of the purchases challenged the imagination.

One winter day, a Texan stopped in, wanting to buy a blanket for his horse. The locals knew the store stocked two types of blankets. One sold for $60, and the expensive one cost $89.95.

He showed him the first. "No, that's not good enough. I need something warmer for my horse." He showed him the second blanket for $89.95. "That's not good enough, either. Don't you understand? This is for my horse, and nothing's too good for my horse. Now show me your most expensive blanket!"

The store became very quiet as the storekeeper reached under the counter to the $89.95 stock, pulled out a plaid one, and spread it on the counter with great finesse. "This is our finest and the only one I have. Colorfast, 100 percent wool, with a very tight weave. It sells for $250."

Now you are talking. I'll take it." He counted out the money, folded the blanket, and left with a big grin on his face.

As the shopkeeper opened the cash drawer and carefully counted the money, he said, "Matthew 25:35, He was a stranger and I took him in."

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