A Little Spice!

“As a skillful cook says with regard to a dish in which already a great many ingredients are mingled: ‘It needs still just a little pinch of cinnamon’ (and we perhaps could hardly tell by the taste that this little pinch of spice had entered into it, but she knew precisely why and precisely how it affected the taste of the whole mixture); as an artist says with a view to the color effect of a whole painting which is composed of many, many colors: “There and there, at that little point, there must be applied a little touch of red” (and we perhaps could hardly ever discover that the red is there, so carefullly has the artist suppressed it, although he knows exactly why it should be introduced). So it is with Governance.Oh, the Governance of the world is an immense housekeeping and a grandiose painting. Yet He, the Master, God in heaven, behaves like the cook and the artist. He says: “Now there must be introduced a little pinch of spice, a little touch of red.” We do not comprehend why, we are hardly aware of it, since that little bit is so thoroughly absorbed into the whole. But God knows why.

A little pinch of spice! That is to say: Here a man must be sacrificed, he is needed to impart a particular taste to the rest.

These are the correctives. It is a woeful error if he who is used for applying the corrective becomes impatient and would make the corrective normative for others. That is the temptation to bring everything to confusion.

A little pinch of spice! Humanly speaking, what a painful thing thus to be sacrificed, to be the little pinch of spice! But, on the other hand, God knows him well whom He elects to use in this way, and then He knows also how, in the inward understanding of it, to make it so blessed a thing for him to be sacrificed, that among the thousands of divers voices which express, each in its own way, the same thing, his also will be heard, and perhaps especially his which is truly de profundis, proclaiming: God is love. The birds on the branches, the lilies in the field, the deer in the forest, the fishes in the sea, countless hosts of happy men exultantly proclaim: God is love. But beneath all these sopranos, supporting them as it were, as the bass part does, is audible the de profundis which issues from the sacrificed one: God is love.”


~Source: The Journals
Author: Søren Kierkegaard

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