A Lesson of Justice from a Soupy Mistake

It wasn’t right.

Too salty.

Too, too salty.

Too, too, too salty.

And, the truth is, I am no fan of anything with too much salt.

However, what could I do to improve this cream of potato soup concoction?

One of my challenges since returning to the United States has been adjusting to the different food products that are here as compared to South Africa. I purchase a food staple that I believe will be like what I used in South Africa. I hope for the best. Most of the time, everything turns out fine as I bake and cook.

This past week, I purchased a new garlic spice combination. I didn’t read the amount of salt content, however.

My mistake.

When making soup yesterday, I added about the same quantity of garlic spice that has been my custom. However, when I conducted my taste test, something wasn’t right. It was too salty. I added more milk. And then a bit more milk. And then some more.

“Good enough,” I thought to myself.

I ladled up the soup and put the cream of potato soup in three containers to be ready to give away to a friend in need of prepared meals.

I cleaned everything up and moved on to making dinner for my family. The evening passed. I eventually went to bed, slept a while, and then woke up feeling disturbed.

My waking thought?

The soup wasn’t good enough.

The soup wasn’t right.

The soup could not be given away in its current condition.

I rose from bed with my make-the-soup-right plan in mind. I set to work to peel potatoes. I cut them up and then boiled them. When fully cooked and soft in consistency, I mashed the potatoes up. Next, I emptied the three soup containers into one, large soup pot. I added the new batch of mashed potatoes to the salty mess.

I stirred.

I stirred.

I stirred some more.

I took a taste and smiled inwardly.

The soup was just right.

I ladled up the soup once again and distributed the new concoction among four containers. Now, I had even more soup to give away. In times like these, that’s a good thing.

What is my lesson from this little story?

Sometimes we need to stop, reflect, go back, make amends, and begin again to make something right.

It may take time and patience.

It may require resources.

It may entreat us towards gentleness and humility.

It may call us to greater generosity.

It will, however, instruct us more about how to love, how to show justice and how to offer mercy. In order to make something right, we need to lean into the ways of God and…

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

New International Version, Isaiah 1:17

The Message says it this way – and I like it:

Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
    Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
    Go to bat for the defenseless.

There are thousands and thousands and thousands of people crying out for our help at this moment. Truth be told, the poor, the homeless, the widow, the orphan, the disenfranchised, the ill, the forgotten, the betrayed, the lonely, the lost, and the anxious and afraid have been beseeching us for love, justice and mercy for a very, very, very long time.

They’ve needed us to pay attention that the soup we’ve been preparing for them – even out of good will – has too much salt. Or…

Too much misunderstanding.

Too much misinformation.

Too much ignorance.

Too much judgment.

Too much discontent.

Too much pride and arrogance.

Too much apathy.

Too much greed.

Too much. Too much. Too much.

Yet, just like I did this morning, we have an opportunity to make our soup – our lives – right.

We have an opportunity to stop, reflect, go back, make amends, and begin again to make something right – to do good, work for justice, assist the down-and-out, advocate and defend the poor, show mercy to the disenfranchised, and love.

Making something right will take time.

Making something right will send us out of our comfort zone.

Making something right will require resources.

Making something right will invite humility.

Making something right will encourage forgiveness.

Making something right may mean we have to start completely over.

Making something right will be the good, just, and loving step to take today, and with each step into the future.

This morning I rose early to make some soup taste better – for a friend in need – who really didn’t deserve a salty mess. The Lord showed me what to do.

What does the Lord require of you?

He has shown you what is good!

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

New International Version, Micah 6:8

Let’s get out into our world, our communities, our workplaces (even remotely), and in our families and do some good and make some things right. It’s a blessed and good thing to do.

What do you think?

Is there something you need to make right?

Maybe start with making some soup?

2 thoughts on “A Lesson of Justice from a Soupy Mistake

  1. Shirley Hethorn June 12, 2020 — 12:51 pm

    And sometimes lose sleep over it as yu did with the soup!😋

  2. A clever way to adapt to a cooking conundrum. Nice story.

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