When times are tough and hope is running on empty, coming together is the perfect recipe. It reminds me of the legend of Stone Soup, a fable dating back to 1720 when a war-stricken village in France found hope working together as a community. But first, they needed a bit of coaxing from a weary traveler with just the right amount of gumption. How to give hope to the hopeless? Take what you’ve got, do something. Make soup, and you serve up joy.
You know the story. A pot, some water, and a smooth stone from his pack. He stirs and smells and licks his lips until the hungry villagers get curious. Steam rises from the pot and the traveler keeps stirring. He talks to himself, “If only I had a head of cabbage… stone soup is delicious with cabbage.” One villager runs home to find a cabbage. “If only I had three potatoes. That would do wonders to the soup.” Another villager brings the potatoes. Carrots, onions, beef scraps, and more are added to the soup. They came together, each contributing a small amount, to make a wonderful soup to soothe their hungry bellies and their lonely hearts.
If you are a Little House fan, then you remember the episode “Stone Soup.” Laura collapses trying to water the apple orchard in the extreme heat while Almanzo is away. Her ma, Caroline, give her a break from teaching at Walnut Grove’s one-room schoolhouse and reads the story of Stone Soup. Willie, one of the students, spearheads a plan to save Laura’s orchard. When they all work together, hope is restored.
Coming together in troubling times has always been a beautiful thing to behold. And now more than ever, our world is hurting and hopeless. Earthquakes in Haiti, flooding in Japan, violence in Afghanistan. Will it ever come to an end?
We’ve been on the edge of our seats this last week waiting to hear from our dear friends in Northern California. The Caldor Fire has burned over 100k acres and is raging all around their home in the area of Grizzly Flat. We pray, then we pray some more. What else can we do for the countless families who have lost everything?
We can give what we have. Even to people we don’t know because that’s what it means to come together as a community, that’s what it means to give hope to the hopeless. Money, time, our prayers. When we work together, like the villagers did, hope builds. Do something and serve up joy.
Every small contribution to the Caldor Fire Fund helps these families get back on their feet. Donate here.