I sat with my friend in a well-known porridge shop in a neighbouring town of Venice (Italy), the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our porridge, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us.
He called the waiter and placed his order saying, ‘Two cups of porridge, one here, one on the wall.’
We heard this strange order with interest and observed that he was served with one cup of porridge but he paid for two. As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying ‘A Cup of porridge’.
While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of porridge, two on the table and one on the wall. They had the two cups of porridge but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, ‘A Cup of Porridge’. It was something unique and perplexing for us.
We finished our porridge, paid the bill and left.
After a few days, we had a chance to go to this porridge shop again. While we were enjoying our porridge, a poorly dressed man entered. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, ‘One cup of porridge from the wall’.
The waiter served porridge to this man with the customary respect and dignity. The man had his porridge and left without paying. We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the dust bin. Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear.
The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up in tears. Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted… He enters the porridge shop without having to lower his self-esteem… he has no need to ask for a free cup of porridge… without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of porridge to him. He only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his porridge and left.
Probably the most beautiful wall you may ever see will be our wall of good deeds on the Day of Judgement. This is what is Charity when you give from one hand & other hand does not know about it. May the Almighty help us all to spend for the poor and the needy especially orphans and the widows.