A very devout man had the practice of praying each day, and having long conversations with God. Longing to meet God in person, one day he invited God to join him for a meal. To the man's great surprise, God accepted, and an appointment time was set.
The man shopped for the very finest foods and prepared them with a skilled and patient hand. Then he washed himself, put on his finest clothes, and sat in his comfortable chair waiting for God.
At exactly the appointed time, there was a thump at the door. When the man opened the door, a black dog raced past him, leapt onto the table, and began devouring the food the man had so carefully prepared for God. Enraged that the dog was spoiling his dinner with God, the man grabbed a stick and began beating the dog. The dog howled at the blows, then ran out the door whimpering.
The man did his best to repair the table and the fine food. He waited for the rest of the day, but there was no knock on the door. Finally the man gave up waiting. He was certain that God had not come because the dinner had been spoiled by the dog.
The man prayed to God, "I am so sorry the dinner was ruined by that wretched dog. Please, please come to dine with me tomorrow. I will prepare all new and wonderful food." The image of God appeared before the man. Cuts and bruises were on God's head and side. "I came to your house today at the appointed time. I was very hungry, so I came in the form of a dog in order to best enjoy your fine food, but you beat me and chased me away."
Moral: God lives in the least of us.