Last night I stumbled upon an old South American Indian story. Though brief, its preciseness and significance was transforming and in a way kind of shocking. Chances are, you have never read it, so I tell you what, I am going to write it. Lucky you!
“If you go to hell you will see a room like a kitchen. It has a table in the middle and chairs for people to sit. There is a pot of delicious stew on the table, with the most delicate aroma you can imagine. All around, people sit. They are alive, but they are dying of starvation. They are all talking, arguing, and yelling at each other. They cannot get a bite of this wonderful stew God has made for them. Now why is that?”
Before proceeding, I pondered what the answer or point was. I didn’t expect to be taught a lesson, or have anything really affect me in this book, but it did when I read the response.
“They are starving because they only have spoons with very long handles. As long as a mop or broom stick, about 4 feet. With these ridiculous, terrible spoons, the people in hell can reach into the pot but they cannot put the food in their mouths. Oh, how hungry they are! Oh, how they swear and curse each other!
Now, you can go visit heaven. What? You see a room just like the first one described, the same table, the same pot of stew, the same long spoons as long as a sponge mop. But, these people are all happy and fat. Perfectly, magnificently well fed and very happy. Why do you think?”
Because they take the stew with the long spoons, reach across the table and offer it to one another.”
I guess sometimes we are too busy thinking about ourselves, we forget our strength comes from leaning and nourishing one another, as well as watching out for ourselves.