Addendum August, 2006
Rumi shares a delightful story of the chickpea,
a herb cultivated in the far east.

The process of cooking prepares
something for the delight of others.
In our rawness we would remain hardened and bitter.
However, in the heat of a fire
we are being prepared to radiate a sweet-smelling savor.  

The Holy Spirit, the Chef among chefs, prepares us.

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us
and given Himself for us,
an offering and a sacrifice to God
for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).  

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us to triumph in Christ,
and through us diffuses the fragrance
of His knowledge in every place.  
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ
among those who are being saved
and among those who are perishing” (II Corinthians 2:14-15).  

A Chickpea Leaps

A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot where it’s being boiled.
“Why are you doing this to me?”

The cook knocks it down with the ladle.
“Don’t you try to jump out!
You think I’m torturing you, but I am giving you flavor,
So you can mix with spices and rice
And be the lovely vitality for another human being.
Remember when you drank rain in the garden?
That was for this….”

Grace first.  Sexual pleasure, then a boiling new life begins.
And the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually, the chickpea will say to the cook,
“Boil me some more!  
Hit me with the skimming spoon—
I can’t do this all by myself.
I’m like an elephant that dreams of gardens back home
And doesn’t pay attention to my driver.
You’re my cook!  My way into existence!  
I love your cooking.”

The cook says, “I was once like you—fresh from the ground.
Then I boiled in time and boiled in the body…
Two fierce boilings.  
My lust grew more powerful—I controlled it with practices…
And boiled some more…
And boiled once beyond that…
And became your tutor.
                                   Rumi