In the Soup

by Trinity S. Thomas on March 23, 2012

Part of THE JOHN OF GOD CHRONICLES

Waiting for Grace

There’s always an opportunity to join the ‘Second Time Line’ and go before the entity incorporated in Joao de Deus to ask up to three questions, or ask for help. I asked to be shown how to be of the most service one day. I didn’t really get an answer, just a prescription for herbs. Which meant the spirits would be working with me, and the herbs would help prepare me for their work, as well as provide an energy link from me to them through the energy signarture of the herbs.

And immediately I was able to give up my seat for someone more in need of it. A smaller and more immediate service than I was thinking of….  Then to help someone translate which line they were to be in. And a few other minor things, all in a row.

My two roommates, who were married here yesterday, had just asked that their marriage be blessed and were prescribed spirit surgeries, so I was on my own. I was in the Blessed Soup line waiting my turn and the kitchen manager came out and said she needed help in the kitchen. I hesitated, as I had very sore arms and was on duty to bring my friends their lunch. But I had, after all, asked how I could be of service, and this was a clear request for help! So I showed up for kitchen duty, put on my hair net, grabbed a towel and started drying dishes.

It’s a very different perspective from inside the kitchen looking out, surrounded by huge pots of soup and dedicated servers dishing it up and washing the returned dishes. There is quite a system, so we volunteers had to be trained before we began. Everything moves very fast.

So few ‘thank you’s were heard. It’s hot, grueling, fast moving work. The camaraderie is powerful. An ancient camaraderie of mostly women preparing and serving food diligently, not able to rest until all are fed and all is cleaned and, as the kitchen manager said, “put to rights again.” I was very happy in that kitchen, absorbed in my work, sharing smiles and humming with women I didn’t know but felt a kinship with.

When someone has spirit surgery, they are quarantined for a full 24 hours to honor the healing process and allow the spirit doctors to continue to work with them. During that time someone brings them food. My roommates had already done this for me the previous week, as i had surgery on my arms the first day I arrived. I brought food to both of my friends for three meals, including an early breakfast which I generally sleep through, through muddy downpours, from a hotel 10 blocks away, in tupperware with lids falling off. It was very difficult. I asked for help on one run, so that I could also bring them dessert. I served them and cleaned up. I brought them Blessed Soup. I was of service.

It was a little amazing to me how unaccustomed I am to such ordinary tasks, now that I live with just my husband and our life is very simple. And I had other opportunities to be of service. Helping someone who was stumbling, giving up my seat in the great hall to someone, changing money for another friend, taking photos before Joao for a blessing, choosing crystals to take back to friends in the States, comforting a couple of folks who were struggling. The cultivation of service is constant here. It’s what this experience is all about, really.

The spirits serve humanity through Joao. Joao serves the people who come to The Casa for healing. The many staff and volunteers keep it all running. The kitchen crew makes and serves blessed soup. You could say the whole experience is a big soup of service, and I am learning to be really in the soup.

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