The Meaning Behind the Fly in My Soup

Tomato Soup BowlI recently published a piece about  A Fly in My Soup. I’ll be the first to admit it was a weird sort of post so why I’m writing a second part to it is beyond my comprehension, but I’m going to anyway.

The post was about a dream, and in the dream I had a bowl of tomato soup. In the soup was a fly struggling to stay above the broth. Upon closer inspection, I realized the fly was my husband (Weird? Yep, but I told you that already!) I was amazed at how he was tossed about so easily at any little ripple in the movement of the soup. I was amazed at his anger when no one had placed him in the soup; he had gotten in there by his own doing. He could also get out if he wanted, but that would take hard work. I was amazed at how insignificant this man who had shared so much of my life, my hopes, my dreams, my love, and my plans for our future had become.

He was literally a fly in my soup, annoying and a bit gross, but that’s about it.

I wondered how that was possible? How could I have moved on while he still seemed so caught up in anger and revenge when he was the one who had wanted to move on? How could he, whom I had thought was larger than life for so many years, have become this shriveled speck that I pitied even more than I disliked? How is it that generally the person causing the divorce still has so much anger so long after getting what he or she wanted?

I thought about the soup analogy and my understanding of how I could send that soup back and order a new one, a better bowl, and why that was true. What gave me the confidence that I would have better waiting for me?

In a restaurant, we are greeted by the host, the maitre-de. It occurred to me that in my life Jesus is my maitre de; He opened the door, showed me to my table, a table He’d prepared knowing I’d enjoy the view even when I wasn’t yet ready to look up yet, even when I was still slurping on soup from some other restaurant, a restaurant that serves flies because its patrons don’t realize there are other places to go with better Food.

Every restaurant has a chef, and in my dream, the Father is my chef. He is the one who creates new meals and cooks up new recipes. He is the one who isn’t afraid to mix together ingredients I would never have thought of combining. He is the one who can take remnants of past meals and make them savory and enviable. He is the one creating the food we crave several times throughout the day.

But how do I tell the chef I’d like a different bowl? How does the chef deliver that food to me or give me the openness to try a dish that looks foreign and strange and just way far out of my comfort zone, especially when my mouth has been burned in the past?

It is the waiter that goes back and forth. He delivers the food. He gives compliments to the chef. He groans with volumes and noises beyond what my limited language can deliver when I allow a fly in my soup and then blame the chef for putting it there.

There is only one who can do that. The Holy Spirit is my waiter. He is with me through every bite of my meal, hovering in the shadows, waiting to be called for whatever purpose I call Him. He never gets tired of being summoned and always offers more,

“Would you like dessert, coffee, another glass of water, perhaps some Bread and Wine?”

The fly in my soup bowl reminds me that, when I’ve finally had enough of eating around the flies in my bowl, I can call the power of the Holy Spirit to help me work through my mess. It means when I hand Him the corrupted soup and ask for a new serving to be brought to me, He will run my request to the Father, and together they will groan over the most recent fly in my soup, forgetting all the flies I’ve foolishly placed there myself.  It means when I turn over my bowl to Him, I don’t have to clean up my mess single-handedly; He will help.

I’m not a big eater of tomato soup. I like it, but I’d rather have lentil or ministrone or pasta fagioli (I hope some Italian can help me with that spelling! My spelling is horrendous, but the soup is superb! “fagioli” CORRECTED Thanks to Sheri!!! 🙂 )

Why tomato soup?

And then I saw it, the fly that was my husband, struggling, bobbing, first above and then below the surface, drowning bit by bit in the red liquid. The red liquid that maybe wasn’t soup at all, but the Blood of Christ. In denying his sins, my ex had shrunken himself and placed himself alone at the Mercy of Christ, to be washed by His Blood – just as I had been not too long ago.

I saw myself as the fly in the soup, knowing I too had needed help, a lift up, and dousing in the Blood of Christ to make me realize how I had gotten into that restaurant in the first place (Still do!)

My lip still curls at the thought of that husband-headed fly in my soup, but I pity him even more too, not realizing he is drowning, not realizing what a gift the liquid that consumes him is. I pick up my efforts to pray for his healing and a lifting of him to where he belongs at the Lord’s Table, and I commit to stop placing my spoon in the bowl, watching ripples toss this poor creature about.

Will you do the same for your ex?

God Bless…

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9 Comments

  1. Sheri on November 1, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Good morning Strahlen
    F-a-g-i-o-l-i!

    This analogy makes a lot of sense to me. You’ve given me much to ponder.

    God Bless….



    • Strahlen on November 2, 2015 at 5:55 am

      HAHA!!!! Thank you Sheri!!! Spelling was never my strong point. I meant to go back later, look it up, and take that out. When I’m writing drafts, I sometimes put notes in to myself to check later but that I hope won’t make too big a deal if I forget and leave them in. I think this is the first time I’ve actually published one, but I knew someone would come through for me! I should have counted on you!

      I’m glad it makes sense to you. It was a strange sort of idea, but it fit for me too.

      God Bless…



  2. Dave Heath on October 31, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    I pray every day for my former spouse and have almost from the beginning. And the other guy as often as I can remember, though admittedly that one is difficult to do. Prayer is the only help I can give her now and even that she told me a few years back to stop doing so. Not going to happen, though. We must remember Matthew 5:44-45: “But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: [45] That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.”



    • Strahlen on November 1, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Yes, Dave. I agree that we must pray for our spouses. Maybe what your wife meant was to tell you to stop telling her you’re praying for her? I don’t know, but a while ago I had to stop and really examine why I was praying for my husband and the other woman. Was it because I truly hoped for the best for them (I think most of the time it was) or was it because I wanted to show I was better than them – certainly better than the 3rd party in our marriage! – and that I wanted them to know this (Unfortunately, sometimes it was for this reason that I prayed – an utterly selfish prayer)

      I think it can be hard to find the opportunity to find Peace and Goodness when someone is putting it in your face all the time. I’m not saying you do that, but it’s something I think some abandoned, faithful spouses do, and it can be very counter-productive. We must pray with our whole hearts, minds, bodies, and souls and often in private for the greatest affect.



      • Dave Heath on November 1, 2015 at 8:21 am

        I truly don’t know what was in her head and perhaps you are correct in that it may be that she didn’t want to hear it. But nor did she didn’t want to hear what I told her about the effect of her divorce on our kids, the severe strain on our finances or her errors in her internet relationship with her now-husband. The woman was wrong and her actions defied all Catholic reason and logic, were unjust and uncharitable, just as some of my actions were. We are duty-bound to admonish errors in others, especially our spouses. She did as much for me and I changed…but she apparently did not feel the reciprocal was needed. We can admonish, but we cannot beat them over the head. We can lead the mule to water, but if the mule be too stubborn to drink?…

        Be assured I do not throw myself, my principles, my Faithfulness to our vows or her own errors constantly towards her. I never have, although for the first couple of years I reminded her of certain matters when it became necessary (and yes, probably a few times when it wasn’t). But after so long a time of someone subduing Reason with Passions, once it is acknowledged that nothing is going to change, as you mentioned it becomes counterproductive. My communication has been and is now with as few words as possible on things unrelated to our children, and only as much as is needed in her role as co-parent on matters concerning our minor children.

        She seems comfortable with the harm done to our children, the harm done to our finances, the harm done to our vows and the confusion that reigns in most of our children on all matters of Catholic marriage. I’ve done what I can and should; the rest is out of my hands.

        My prayers for her now remain private, although my children know that I still pray daily for her, as I do for them. It is necessary that that they know and understand this, as their further education in what Catholic Marriage and the marital vows mean, towards an intended spouse and more so, towards Christ. Half of them are of marriage-able age, though none are even close to the notion. But when they are, I can only hope they remember all I’ve said and all I’ve lived in the hope they will embrace their vows accordingly, but mostly as Christ intended – for life.

        I’ve told a few of the older ones I’d rather see them remain bachelors and bachelorettes, rather than take marital vows with the flawed understanding of Catholic Marriage they now seem to embrace.

        God Bless and keep blogging…



  3. Roxane on October 31, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Only through the power of God can we merciful to those who have hurt us deeply. But this is what Christ demonstrated to us, and we must try, with all our might, to do, and with God, all things are possible. Thanks for modeling this inconceivable-without-God love to us, Strahlen!



    • Strahlen on October 31, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you Roxane. It is certainly not easy, and there are far too many times fail, but that Bible verse that says, love your enemies or be no better than a tax collector (Matt 5), keeps jumping up and reminding me to try again. Without Jesus’ example, I wouldn’t even know to try or realize how miserably I fail when I act as I want to.



    • Dave Heath on November 1, 2015 at 8:25 am

      “Father forgive for they no not what they do” is probably on many abandoned spouses lips, both in Church and more often than not, numerous times in private as we struggle with the injustices of NFD.

      Abandoning spouses need our prayers as much as we ourselves need to be prayed for.



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