If you are thirsty, come to the waters. If you have no money, come, buy and eat.
Imagine, if you will, that every day, you walk past a particular house in your neighborhood. Sometimes, at dusk, you walk by, on your way home. Through the clear glass windows, you can see into the dining room. What can you see? A huge dining room table that stretches from one end to the other. Beautifully polished silver candelabras, their candles lit, flickering with a warm glow. All kinds of delicious food waits on this table—roast beef, turkey, ham. Brightly colored sweet potatoes and green vegetables. Homemade pasta dishes. Fish, crabmeat, shrimp. Loaves of hot, homemade bread. Someone has poured good red wine into the wine glasses to decant. Folded napkins rest neatly at each place. The banquet awaits.
And you, who have stopped for a moment in the cold winter dusk to gaze upon this scene, are hungry. Really hungry. Just when you are ready to keep walking, someone opens the front door and calls out to you.
“Hi! Dinner’s ready and on the table. Why don’t you come in and eat with us? Oh don’t worry. There’s no charge for dinner. We have freshly baked bread and a good roast from the meat market. If you want milk or water instead of wine, we have plenty of that too. Come in, and eat. We’ve been waiting for you, my dear. But you shake your head.
“No, thank you, I already have plans.” Now those plans include going home to eat a grilled cheese sandwich while you check your e-mail—another evening that leaves you vaguely unfulfilled. So that person who stands in the open doorway, backlit by the glow of candles, slowly and reluctantly closes that front door. You have refused her invitation. You stand there on the sidewalk for a moment, shivering and hungry. Then you turn and walk down the dark street. Alone. Hungry. Behind you, the feast has beckoned, and you said no.