What Love Can Do

At seventy-one, Martha, a widow for almost nine years, lived alone in the small cabin she and her husband built long ago in the shadow of Deer Mountain.

Times were hard for everyone, and Martha subsisted mostly on chicken, eggs, and what she could grow in her small garden, along with the occasional donation of a rabbit or a sack of flour from caring neighbors.

Martha believed what the Good Book said about it being better to give than to receive, so when she hung a kettle of soup over the fire out front to simmer she was sure to make plenty extra and set a few wooden bowls and spoons on the small bench next to it, knowing that folks walking down the road were likely hungry.

Word soon got around about Martha’s kettle, and one evening when she walked out to fetch a bowl of soup for her supper she was surprised to find big chunks of deer meat simmering in the kettle, much to her delight; not long after, some kind soul left two loaves of warm crusty bread wrapped in a dishtowel on her porch, and another day there stood a heaping roaster of fried catfish, both of which she was happy to share with people passing by.

One morning a second rough-hewed bench appeared beside her fire, and before long it became a gathering place for friends and neighbors who brought along whatever they had to share and spent the evenings visiting, laughing, sharing stories and Gospel songs.

When Martha finally passed from this world to the next, they found her in her bed with a beautiful smile spread across her face, and the neighbors who filled the little church the following day recalled what she began with a simple kettle of soup, noting that’s what love can do.

This has been a Six Sentence Story, written for Denise’s blog hop at GirlieOnTheEdge. The prompt word we were assigned to use this week was “kettle.” Click on the link to read more great stories, and maybe add one of your own!

Author: Josie Two Shoes

I've been blogging off and on since August of 2006. I adopted the pen name Josie Two Shoes in 2007 as I began a new chapter of my life standing on my own two feet. Now I'm married to the man of my dreams; we live in dusty West Texas with a house full of furkids. I am an Aquarian by birth, and although I am past sixty and slightly frayed around the edges, my fascination with this thing called life continues. Faith, family, and friends are important to me; so are honesty, trust, tolerance, compassion and kindness. I'm pretty up front about most things, so if you want to know something more about me, just ask! :-) You can also reach me by email and find me at my Facebook page.

46 thoughts on “What Love Can Do”

  1. very nicely done… the better part of humanity is often overlooked, yet always felt by those who come into direct contact with a person such as your Martha.
    enjoyable Six

    1. Thank you Clark! I think we all get so focused on everything that is wrong with our world that we overlook the many wonderful people like Martha, quietly doing their best to make it a better place!

  2. Love this Josie. So uplifting and you were right on the money – your Six is “sweet and simple”. It is so often in the simple gestures offered in life where the greatest rewards can be found.

    1. I agree with you Viola! We never know how one small gesture can affect someone else and start a ripple effect like what happened here. Not to mention that it feels good to share what you have!

    1. Thanks UP! This is the first image that came to my mind with the cue, and this year I’m trying to go with my initial reaction no matter what direction it takes me, and not spend a lot of time second-guessing myself. SSS is always a fun exercise with such a great group of people!

  3. I too thought of Stone Soup when reading your sweet story. Your SSS is a beautiful reminder of how serving others can be contagious.

  4. Such a heartwarming and loving story, Josie. The best version of the ‘ripple effect’. One simple thought and act of kindness brings the whole community together in fellowship. Absolutely love it.

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