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!