Recipe From Paradise: Flash Fiction - a Humble Offering to Linda Lum!
Love is the mother of all virtues, therefore, give Love, and you will acquire all the virtues.— Sean Dragon
About Linda Lum (Carb Diva)
The name Agatha is a feminine given name derived from the Ancient Greek word ἀγαθός (agathos), meaning good, virtuous and honest. I think that is the most suitable name for the idea I have in my mind and heart for Linda Lum. I have never met her in person, but the light of her golden Heart has embraced many times my Heart, making me sure that angels do live among us! This story is a small expression of my gratitude for her, a beam of the Light of my Heart returning to hers. My dear Linda, I am grateful to call you Sister, and I hope my story to stand worthy of the beauty of your Soul and Spirit!
Agatha had two great talents that played a significant role in shaping her character and helping her become an exceptional person, one of those who change the world around them and make it better.
First was her talent in cooking. One friend of hers had told once that even if she had cooked stones, she would have made them so delicious that you would say that it is the best food you have ever eaten. She really had the gift of giving a divine taste to whatever she was cooking! If you had tasted any of her recipes, it would be hard to forget that tastiness, and it would be even harder to find and eat something more delicious.
Agatha always claimed that there was the same primary ingredient she was using in every recipe, and that was Love. It could not be more exact! Every time she was cooking, you could hear her singing beautiful words to express her appreciation and gratitude for every material she used and her wishes to the people who would taste her food. Therefore the whole process became a powerful prayer, and the result had a correspondingly beneficial effect on the one who would try it. Agatha had a massive heart filled with Love, and this Love also infilled everything she was cooking!
This vast heart was also the source of her second talent, her ability to make people fill up with positive energy and optimism, even if they had the worst mood. She always had some kind words to say about everyone, a gentle deed to support those in need, and a unique way to help people overcome their fears and concerns. If there are angels who have taken human form and live among us, then surely Agatha was one of them.
Among many other actions of love, she used to cook three times a week at a shelter for homeless people. But apart from the food, which all adored, she supported in many other ways those people who lived on the fringes of life. Her great heart gave food to both the body and the Soul of these people. It is logical that everyone loved her, and that love also nurtured her Soul. She was happy because she was creating happiness around her.
At this shelter, she has met George, a kind man over fifty who had lost his wife and son ten years ago in a car accident and at the same time he had lost the power to continue living without them. He had ended up an alcoholic, and so he had lost his job and all his possessions. His life changed again when someone brought him to the shelter and met Agatha and her longing to help those in need. He found meaning in life again, managed to quit drinking and began to participate actively in the activities of the shelter, helping the rest of the homeless people. Recently, he had found an occasional job, and with his payments, he supported the purchase of medicines for other people in the shelter who needed them. He had found his old smile, and having Agatha as an example, he had started feeling happiness again, through the offer.
Agatha was happy with the change she had seen in George because she appreciated his great heart and could understand the inner pain which consumed him from within because she had also experienced the loss of loved ones, early in her life. She knew that this is a pain you cannot cure, you can only enclose it in Love and turn it to acts of goodness and offer so that to transform it into an inner shrine of Love. Then this pain ceases to cause suffering.
But unfortunately for George, this pain has already evolved into something far more severe. He had diagnosed with stomach cancer at a stage that survival hopes were almost zero and were based on costly chemotherapy that George had not the ability to pay, and no hospital was accepting the treatment of a homeless and destitute middle-aged man.
George did not take it very badly, on the contrary. He saw it as an opportunity to find again his wife and son, who he had missed them so much. But when he confided it to Agatha, she explained to him that by his recent actions he had become significant help of many people in the shelter –and not only– who until then lived in abandonment, he had become their guardian angel, and she urged him to fight for his healing for the sake of all of them.
"My sweet Agatha, how will I do that? You know there's no money for therapy," he replied with a smile.
Then she asked him:
"Do you trust the power of Love and me?"
"Of course, I trust you both, but..."
"There is no but! You need chemotherapy, don't you? So there is no better chemotherapy than proper food. Trust me, I know an ancient recipe that can cure everything. I just want you to come to my house, every day, to eat the soup that I'll prepare only for you. Do you promise to do this for me?"
He hugged her tightly and said,
"Of course, I will, but what recipe is that?"
"Oh! No, I cannot tell you this now, maybe when you'll be cured." She responded with a conspiratorial tone. "I just want you to trust my love for you and the miraculous power that every act of love has!"
"We have a deal! My treatment is in your hands!" George replied with a wide smile.
One noon, three months later, a well-dressed gentleman entered the shelter and asked to see Agatha. When she greeted him with her unique smile, he said:
"My name is Luke Apostolou, and I am a doctor, oncologist. I am the one who has dealt with George's therapy. He spoke to me about you; he told me that you are responsible for the miracle of his recovery. I really can't believe what has happened. In my twenty-five years of being a doctor, no patient, at this stage of cancer that was George, has been able to recover, even with the most advanced therapies. And now we have a case in which the tumour has completely disappeared! How did you do that? George told me about an ancient recipe that you know. You understand how important it would be to give it to me. It could save the lives of thousands of people! Please tell me what the secret ingredients you used when you cook this soup that cured him were!"
Agatha laughed and said to him:
"My dear doctor, the truth is that I was not completely honest with George. The ingredients I use are always the same, every time I cook, and while they are really ancient, they are not secret at all."
The doctor looked at her with apparent puzzled.
"And... what... are they?" He said with the same confusion in the voice.
The smile of Agatha became even broader and perhaps a bit cunning.
"The miraculous ingredients are Love, Faith and Prayer!"
Live to love and love to live.
© 2019 Ioannis Arvanitis