A Recipe to Cure the Blues

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Posted in , Mar 20, 2015

Recipe to Cure the Blues

Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. Romans 15:2

Maybe it was the long, cold season upon me, or maybe it was an especially hard period at work. But one day, many years ago, when I was feeling blue, I asked my friend Katie for advice.

“Try this recipe,” she said to me. “Take two large cans of white beans, one large can of peeled tomatoes, one onion, several garlic cloves, one leek, a few carrots, some cabbage, a bit of spinach (washed). Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the carrots and leek, one cup of soup stock, and then the rest. Simmer the vegetables over a slow fire for an hour or two. Stir frequently. Salt and pepper to taste. Then invite your friends over to eat a big bowl of ribollita soup. You’ll feel much better.”

I did just as Katie said. The aroma of the sautéing vegetables was intoxicating. Chopping and cutting and stirring made me concentrate on something other than myself. And by the time three hungry friends arrived to eat, the apartment smelled of tomatoes, onions, garlic and good cheer.

But it was not until I heard the appreciative comments of my guests that I understood the real wisdom of Katie’s recipe. In fact, at the top of a splattered card, I’ve written the words “Bye-Bye Blues Soup.” The secret? It’s not in the ingredients, it’s in the directions: Do something for others. Write a letter, make a telephone call, cook a hearty meal for friends. It’ll chase the blues away. Every time.

Lord, help me be creative, rising to the challenge of a difficult time—through prayer and a hearty act for another.

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