The conversation and dinner unfolding together changed with two events that occurred almost on top of each other. Everything changed in the moment with a single action.
The meal I was sharing was good but ultimately not memorable. The promise of the menu did not seem to arrive with its full potential. Words I used at the time included disappointed, a let-down, and bland to the point of almost being boring. I added a bit of fresh group pepper to the dish but the improvement was margin at best. As I thought about what I could do, my mind was blank.
The conversation that accompanied the meal was not helping. As we shared the developments of the past few days it seemed as though our fears, uncertainties, and doubts were taking control. Almost as if we needed to go to a dark place in order to fully appreciate what was going to follow, a spiral of increasing darkness crept into the stories and discussions that followed.
As we mutually struggled through the conversation, I found myself looking for a way out. In a moment that stays with me, the conversation was interrupted by the unexpected appearance of a chef from the kitchen.
“My apologies for the two dishes I have just served. When I tasted the small amount left in the pan after plating the dish, I realized that I had accidently left out the salt. If you do not mind, can I salt your dishes now?”
The next taste of the meal was the most startling transformation of a dish that I have ever experienced! Old to new, bland to phenomenal, boring to amazing, and forgettable to one I will never forget.
As the fork brought the food to my mouth, a question was posed.
“What if we asked for help? I am thinking of…”
It was the perfect answer to everything that was troubling in our conversation. With twists of a salt grinder and a simple suggestion, “he changed wasteland into fresh pools of water, arid earth into springs of water.” (Psalm 107.35)