Re-posted from 2004
A few weeks ago we entertained a guest from China. He and his wife and Lois and I ate together at Bob Evans when we picked him up from the airport. I had coffee. He had tea. I was raised in Ohio. He was raised on the other side of the world. But we bowed to thank God for our meal together because we had Christ in common. As we ate together and talked we discovered something more.
Across the cultures and language barriers we quickly discovered a mutual love for stories. He has published six books of stories in Taiwan. I asked him to tell me one. The one he told me brought tears to my eyes and I knew then that I would want to re-tell it to you for Thanksgiving. Here’s how I remember the story:
Once there was a fourteen-year-old girl who got angry with her mother and ran away from home. She left without money or warm clothes. Soon she was cold and hungry but she was too angry and too proud to go back home.
Out in the street she saw an old woman in a market selling hot noodles. They looked so good. The old woman saw that she was cold and hungry. She gave her a bowl of noodles. When she did the girl began to cry. “Why are you crying?” she asked. “Because my other made me angry and I ran away and I was cold and hungry and you are so kind, you gave me a bowl of noodles.
The old woman said, “How old are you?”
“Fourteen,” the girl said.
“Look at me. Your mother has feed you three times a day for fourteen years and you are angry with her. You don’t even know me and you are weeping grateful tears for one bowl of noodles. Don’t you think you should go home and thank your mother for fourteen years of love and care?”
When my friend left the last thing he did was bow low and hand me a beautiful copy of one of his story-collections, a sort of Chinese version of Chicken Soup For the Soul… I can’t read the beautiful Chinese characters. For all I know the title of the book is; “A Cup of Noodles for the Soul.”
November 24, 2004
Riverfront Character Inn