Standing in the immaculate cobalt blue and white kitchen, I watched as Debbie meticulously sliced the light green cabbage, dark green beans and white onions for soup. The Holy Spirit whispered very quietly to me, "Do not say anything. I am preparing something special for you." After the vegetables simmered for a while Debbie added a gourmet cheese and then the hot soup was prepared for serving. Silently, I hoped there might be warm bread, or a green salad, or a fruit salad or some tea sandwiches or something to accompany the soup but there wasn’t…just a perfect bowl of hot steaming homemade soup.
Casual style dinner was served in the breakfast nook not the formal dining room. After moving the vegetables around the bowl in a thousand patterns and occasionally sipping the broth, I sensed this awkward feeling in the room, because I actually had not taken one bite. Finally, Debbie asked the inevitable questions. "Do you like cabbage?” I shook my head no. “Do you like green beans?” Again, I shook my head no. “Do you like onions?” Again, I shook my head no. She exclaimed with complete mortification, “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Well, the Holy Spirit said that I was not to say anything because HE was preparing something special,” I replied. This was my first time to be in their southern style mansion as I had just met her the weekend before at a Prophetic Worship Glory Ring workshop. Even though I was very embarrassed by my seemingly rude behavior, there was nothing to do but believe that somehow GOD was going to reveal something. Actually anything would have been good at that moment in time.
Debbie graciously inquired, “Did HE tell you why I just made soup that you don’t like and can’t eat?”
“Actually, I have no understanding or revelation at all. I don’t have a clue,” I answered with my eyes obviously not meeting hers.
According to southern hospitality and being the southern hostess that she was, Debbie immediately arose to prepare something else for me to eat. I protested, “No, don’t. Please. The LORD said I was to eat what you prepared, not to have anything else, I am so sorry, please just let it be.” The situation was more than uncomfortable.
It would not be the first time in my life that I went to bed hungry and woke up the same. The rain danced stormy steps on the roof until the next morning. The pounding thunder, bolting lightning and explosive cloudbursts rock ‘n rolled through the heavens as tornadoes whipped and whirled across Tennessee. The next day the heavens poured forth, thick sheets of rain that looked like wet gray flannel bedding hung on the clothesline in the fierce windstorm. This was my first time to witness this kind of extreme weather with rain that was clearly impossible to see through.
Debbie and I planned to spend the day finishing the Prophetic Worship Glory Ring that she began the weekend before at the Workshop in Hermitage, Tennessee. She invited others to attend but only one, a woman named Susan, braved the torrential rainstorm. The morning was very delightful, easy and blessed. The storm raged continuously on the outside yet gratefully the peace of GOD filled the atmosphere inside.
As Debbie prepared lunch she asked me very carefully and purposefully, “Do you like pastrami? Do you like mayonnaise? Do you like cheese? Do you like sourdough bread? Do you like mustard?” as she made sandwiches.
After answering all of her questions with a resounding, “Yes,” the Holy Spirit said to ask Debbie to warm up the soup from the night before. So, I did and she looked at me as though I had just lost my complete ability to collectively reason. Trying to save face I said, “Well, Susan might like it and since it is a southern way to exchange recipes, I thought she might like the recipe.” So, Debbie warmed up the soup and served Susan a bowl. She did not serve me a bowl of soup, so I asked her for one. She looked at me almost exasperated, “But you don’t like it and won’t eat it!” I laughed and said, “I know but I am supposed to have some!” Bless her heart...she graciously brought me a miniature cup of soup.
The savory aroma of the soup filled the air as I watched the pelting rain and wind bend the trees to the ground outside. Without warning tears began streaming down my face. Debbie was in the kitchen and Susan silently looked at me. We just met a couple of hours earlier and now I am crying over soup?
Gently, the Holy Spirit whispered to me the name of Alice. There was no memory of an Alice that I could recall. Then HE brought the picture of her face to my mind. And I whispered out loud, “Oh, that Alice.”
Susan looked at me and then kindly responded, “No ma'am, my name is Susan.” Undoubtedly, she was wondering whom on earth I was talking to. Then she saw that the Holy Spirit was moving as I buried my face in my hands sobbing uncontrollably. I do not cry in public so this was as far from the range of normal behavior that I could possibly go.
The Holy Spirit catapulted me back to an early childhood memory of working in the bean fields. My mother picked beans in the summers to make extra money for her growing family. My sisters and I tagged along as we were way too young to stay home alone. We were each given small pails to fill with green beans.
Alice was a precious little girl with the most beautiful porcelain skin and waist long wavy platinum gold blonde hair. She looked just like a porcelain doll I had seen at the department store except she was alive and could talk. We were both five years old and soon became playmates in the hot afternoon sun hovering over the bean field.
Then I remembered that it was a torrential rainstorm that uncovered her tiny raped and murdered body buried in the dark mud at the edge of the bean field. The rain washed away the dirt and exposed the long tresses of her golden hair, which was how the police found her body.
This memory had been submerged somewhere in my subconscious for over four decades and now GOD came to heal me when I wasn’t looking as had been my prayer. Like most children involved in the loss of someone, they cannot cognitively reason death nor understand the loss. Alice was beautiful. I did remember thinking that simply based on her beauty alone that she should have lived and I should have died. So, the Holy Spirit in overt kindness confirmed in my memory, soul and spirit that I had not done anything wrong, that I could not change what happened and allowed me to grieve her as an adult.
The aroma of the green beans, onions and cabbage wafted through the air. Now I was beginning to understand why I had not been able to eat green beans since I was 5 years old. No matter what, I could not swallow them. It was as though a sign was posted on my tonsils, No Green Beans Allowed next to the sign: No Green Peas Allowed.
Only GOD, in HIS overt mercy, would take me to Lascassas, Tennessee in the middle of a tornado storm, to heal my wounded child’s heart from a memory that I could not recall.
Oh, and yes, Susan loved the soup and took the recipe home! Glory to God!
My prayer for you is that God will come and heal you when you are not looking! That you will have a Cabbage, Green Bean and Onion Soup moment according to HIS purposes and will for your life.
A few months later while ministering in Ellington, Connecticut in 2001, a woman named Bonita gave me a little porcelain bunny nestled safely in a bowl of porcelain light green cabbage leaves. Only a loving Heavenly Father could or would put all that together!