The weather had turned cold (well for Florida that is) and the hearts of many the world over had too.
My soul was crying for more peaceful times after a tough mid term election cycle and I ached for the good old days. One thing that heals my soul is a homemade pot of soup – especially the hamburger vegetable recipe my step mother would make. Her soup was always a welcome delight when I popped the screen door behind me and caught the aroma of the soup on the stove. That was the ONLY thing she cooked well and I cherished the recipe.
I decided to heal my soul and drive to the store for the ingredients. I found them quickly — except the one thing that made it perfect. It was a round tube wrapped in cellophane with dried beans, alphabet noodles and a seasoning packet. I could not find it anywhere. The store had been remodeled and I asked one store employee where to find it. He had no idea but…he took the time to find another employee and she said, “Oh that may be on the Kosher aisle. Have you looked there?” I hadn’t and she escorted me there and we found the package residing on the bottom shelf. I grabbed the packet, thanked the employee for her help, checked out and drove home. I could almost smell the soup simmering from the ingredients in the bag.
As I cut up the veggies and prepared the soup, my mind took me to the Seinfeld character, the Soup Nazi. I laughed at how people stood in line to eat his famous soups and at the same time feared the man who made it. All you had to do was look at him a certain way, mention that you were missing something from your order or simply engage the crabby chef when he didn’t want to be. He never smiled. He was just a big crab! His tactic for those who ticked him off: He drove you away from his establishment. You were banned!!
I wondered if God had become crabby and wondered if he was mad. Mad at me. Mad at you. Mad at us. He had every right in the world to be mad. We had messed up the world with our hate and division and personally we all had done things to be ashamed of. Well most of us have – me being one of them.
I stirred the pot (just like me to stir a pot!!!) and asked God out loud if He, indeed, was mad and I panicked for a moment and considered that He just might be. I spoke to myself and said, “Put a lid on it, Billie.” And I did. I put the lid on the pot!!
As the soup simmered on the cool Sunday morning, I pulled out my Bible and asked God to calm my spirit. I so needed to feel His presence and I wanted to be assured He still loved me and this world of crabby people I reside with. I randomly opened the Bible to John 6 – and noticed the header: Jesus the Bread of Life. (That’s a good start God ‘cause bread goes well with soup!)
The disciples were asking Jesus what work God required them to do to have eternal life. And I love his answer, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” So in other words, you don’t have to work to get there – you just have to believe in Jesus! What a wonderful message!
And then Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me – I WILL NEVER DRIVE AWAY.”
What? Wait a minute. He will never drive me away? He will never send me packing? He will never shun me? He will never banish me from His table in heaven?
He’s not the Soup Nazi – Praise God for that!
He’s not crabby – even when we are.
He forgives us – even when we don’t deserve to be.
He blesses us – even we don’t bless Him.
He provides for us – our needs not always our wants.
He gives us more than we deserve and loves us more than we love Him.
Oh Lord you are hysterical. Thank you for showing me you are not the Soup Nazi and you are not mad at me…or you…or us.
I could feel my spirit calming down and my stomach growling. I pulled out my grandmother’s large blue ladle and poured a bowl of soup. And there it was – another message from God. Not from the Bible – from a bowl of hamburger veggie soup!
My initial “B” was sitting on top of a piece of carrot. It had landed just like that from the ladle. How cool is that? Of all the alphabets in that package, the initial B stood out and stood strong.
I chuckled at God and heard Him saying – “When you think I’ve turned my back on you – remember this soup. You made it and placed an important ingredient in it. You searched for it and found it in the Kosher aisle. You put a Jewish ingredient in and you put my Jewish son inside of you a long time ago. I placed your initial right here on top of this carrot known for making your eyes stronger (that’s an old wives tale but I believe it). I did that to say, “Open your eyes. I see you. I’ll provide for you. I’ll always love you. I’ll never send you packing because you have my son in you! You just have to remember who you are carrying with you wherever you go even when you are stirring the pot of your life.”
Oh my friends, what a wonderful God we serve at the table of life. Please know this: No matter if your pot has been stirred or your soul is shaking this morning from fears and doubts, I hope you’ll hear this message and believe that God has a pot of soup made just for you! One with your name on it too.
And, He’s not mad at you! He will never banish you from eternal life and that big banquet table in heaven — IF you do the only work He asks of you – to believe in his son, Jesus!
It’s Monday and time to get to work, stir a few pots, and make things happen. The world is still divided but you can feel better knowing that you don’t have to fix it. He will. So get dressed, get going and take Jesus with you. And consider this…find a good spot for a bowl of soup at lunch and take someone with you who needs to know they are loved.
I hope you’ll see God in the soup.
And here you go…a sampling of what a Soup Nazi is like. Funny in a sitcom but our God reigns in life and is smiling down on you right this minute!
Peace, Love, Out,
Peace, Love, Out –
Billie aka B on the Carrot…