A hungry stranger, looking for food and lodging, stopped in a village and knocked on the door of a house. Too proud to beg for a meal, he requested a large container in which he could make a tasty soup; offering to share when it was done.
The widow who lived there filled a large pot with water and set it over a fire in the village square. When it came to a boil the stranger reached deep into his pocket, bringing out a large, yet smooth and well-cleaned stone that he dropped into the vessel.
He asked if she might have a little salt to add. After sprinkling in the salt, he tasted the soup, closed his eyes,and with a big smile proclaimed it exquisite, but looking puzzled said it seemed to need just a little of something else.
The widow, herself often hungry, willing to share what little she had with the stranger, rushed back home to get some of what was left of the cabbage, which had been the bulk of her meager meals lately.
The stranger explained to a curious villager who asked what he was doing that he was making a wonderful tasting soup, which he would be delighted to share with him, but was a bit embarrassed as it still needed a little something else to improve the flavor. The villager volunteered to bring carrots from his garden.
A local resident, returning from the post office, hearing that the stranger was making a delicious soup, offered a couple of potatoes. A maid for the area’s wealthiest family was on her way home from work carrying a small amount of meat for her supper that her employer gave her from his daughter’s wedding feast the night before. Another brought onions, saying you must have plenty of onions in a really good soup.
As word spread villagers brought whatever ingredients they had to to enrich the bubbling soup; a few beans, some garlic, cilantro, a little cauliflower, spinach, and ripe tomatoes. A second widow’s eyes lit up when she heard what all the excitement was as she had broccoli she was more than happy to share with the stranger. This continued with the neighborhood baker bringing a loaf of crusty bread, from the daily ration he and his family were living on, due to a downturn in business. There was much laughter among the villagers as they visited with neighbors they had never met and those they had known for years.
Finally with a broad smile the stranger announced the mouthwatering and nutritious pot of soup was ready.
Friends, both old and new, sat together enjoying the camaraderie and shared success of the flavorful and filling soup. Humming softly to himself, the stranger carefully washed and dried the well-worn stone which he had removed from the soup, before placing it gently back in his pocket for the next village.
We all have something we can share with others and it will always come back to bless us.
Cooking together and sharing a healthy meal is a simple, yet, wonderful way to build community.
The most well-known of meals that Jesus shared:
– Loaves and Fishes Matthew 14:13-21, Luke 9:10-17, Mark 8:1-13, Matthew 15:32-39, John 6:1-71
– The Last Supper: His last meal with His disciples (Matt. 26:17–30, Mark. 14:12–26, Luke. 22:7–39 and John. 13:1–17:26).