Thought For The Day 08/11/14


Stone Soup

Thought 1246




There was a story that was written many, many years ago. In fact, it is believed that the original was written in 1720 by a French journalist by the name of Madame de Noyer. And Madame’s message was so wonderful that her story was translated into other languages. However, as is with so many things of great worth, it took nearly 3/4 of a century before it was translated into English. But then a funny thing happened. You see, through the years, and with each retelling, the story was gifted with the “poetic license” of each new story-teller.  And still, as you will discover, the story is much more than whimsy. It is a message that immediately reminds us of a famous Bible verse from Ecclesiastes that speaks of the strength of the three-fold (or many fold) cord!


Stone Soup
(the author of this version is Unknown)

Many years ago three soldiers, hungry and weary of battle, came upon a small village. The villagers, suffering a meager harvest and the many years of war, quickly hid what little they had to eat and met the three at the village square, wringing their hands and bemoaning the lack of anything to eat.

The soldiers spoke quietly among themselves and the first soldier then turned to the village elders. “Your tired fields have left you nothing to share, so we will share what little we have: the secret of how to make soup from stones.”

Naturally the villagers were intrigued and soon a fire was put to the town’s greatest kettle as the soldiers dropped in three smooth stones. “Now this will be a fine soup”, said the second soldier; “but a pinch of salt and some parsley would make it wonderful!” Up jumped a villager, crying “What luck! I’ve just remembered where some’s been left!” And off she ran, returning with an apron full of parsley and a turnip. As the kettle boiled on, the memory of the village improved: soon barley, carrots, beef and cream had found their way into the great pot, and a cask of wine was rolled into the square as all sat down to feast.

They ate and danced and sang well into the night, refreshed by the feast and their new-found friends. In the morning the three soldiers awoke to find the entire village standing before them. At their feet lay a satchel of the village’s best breads and cheese. “You have given us the greatest of gifts: the secret of how to make soup from stones”, said an elder, “and we shall never forget.” The third soldier turned to the crowd, and said: “There is no secret, but this is certain: it is only by sharing that we may make a feast”. And off the soldiers wandered, down the road.


My mother would read this story to me and even when I was little, I always felt lifted after hearing it because my mother taught me the meaning behind the words. That the message is one that rings just as true in the 21st century as it did when the story was scripted hundreds of years ago, and with variations of the tale translated into many languages, should not be lost on any of us! The message of “Stone Soup” is truly a lesson in faith and love. It’s a message that tells us that we can accomplish anything in this world as long as we are willing to join one with the other in cooperation especially during those times of want and scarcity!


Do we each know someone who is struggling during these difficult days? Is there a neighbor of ours that must gather their pennies together before making that trip to the grocery store? Are there children we see in our neighborhood who, though clean, are perhaps a tad shabby in clothes a size too small? Is there something that each of us can do to make a difference in a life? How about trying the recipe for this delicious soup yourself. You never can tell how far-reaching the change you effect will become!


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered; two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

 Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV


Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”


About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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