Earlier this year I was spending a little time with Jesus and got this idea to go on a road trip where the whole purpose would be to encourage followers of Jesus in various parts of the west. Later that day a young woman who I get the honor of walking with called. She said, “Cari, why don’t we go on a road trip this summer instead of me just visiting you.” Instantly I knew Jesus was up to something mischievous.
That day I had just picked up a children’s book called Stone Soup. The book tells the story of three soldiers who went into a village. When the villagers saw the soldiers they began to hoard their possessions. The soldiers asked for a place to sleep. Everyone said, so sorry but we don’t have any where for you to stay. They then asked where they could get food and one by one people said, sorry I don’t have any extra.
The soldiers said then began to tell the story of a soup. They got a big pot, put rocks in the bottom and put it over a fire. The villagers gathered around the pot of water and rocks. The soldiers imagined a great soup and would say, “this will be so good, but wouldn’t it be better if we had carrots.” People came out of the woodwork with vegetables and the soup turned into a feast. The villagers gathered around, pulling resources and setting up tables. They who needed to be so independent and individual and self sufficient, became a community that day. One of the villagers recognized this at the end of the story when he said, “by the wisdom of these three soldiers we get to eat a feast fit for a king!”
This story has always struck me. On this particular day I realized that was the message of our road trip. As in the church we spend so much time living in our differences and can be so divided. In John 17 Jesus prays for the believers to come. He prays that we would be one. In Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 Paul paints pictures of a body. We each have a roll to play, but we need the body to be complete.
Out of this desire to see followers of Jesus be brought together and encouraged, we put together “The Stone Soup Tour” of the west. We will be gathering followers of Jesus in 6 different cities for dinner. Each dinner will be a pot-luck, as we need each other to make a feast fit for kings! And at each dinner we will be asking individuals to write a story about what God is doing in their life and in the life of their city. We will keep a scrapbook of the stories and will also be blogging about the trip as we go.
If you are in one of our cities we’d love for you to join us for dinner.
The dates are: Seattle, WA June 11 and June 12, Portland, OR June 13, Danville, CA June 16, San Francisco, CA June 17, Santa Barbara, CA June 18 or 19, and San Diego, CA June 20.
We will give exact locations and times as it gets closer.
You can join in the story by hosting a meal where you are. Have each person who comes to dinner bring something for the feast, then provide paper for people to write their stories of what God is doing in their life and in the life of their city. Then you can email the stories to me and I’ll post them on the Stone Soup Blog.