Monday, March 26, 2007

chicken

Last week when Twin A was at the E.R., his brothers and I took a trip to the grocery store. Walking by the meat case, I noticed that chicken was on sale. Then I looked at the packages and saw that it was really on sale. The “sell by” date was the next day, and all of the already-on-sale chicken was half off. Bottom line—I got huge value-packs of chicken for two bucks. I threw a bunch of them in my cart, figuring I can always use frozen chicken.

Back at home, I was on my way down to the basement freezer to stash our huge supply of cheap chicken, when Twin B. said, “Mom, look! Our friend is outside.” A neighbor and her two kids were walking back from the park, so we popped our heads outside to say “Hi.” Immediately, all I could think about was chicken. I needed to give her some chicken.

Now, let me back up here and say that I’m not a person who regularly hands out groceries. My sister-in-law? Constantly. “Here! I got this cereal for a dollar a box! Take some!” If I know of a need, I’m quick to give, but to just randomly give someone food? Not me at all.

So here I am chatting with this neighbor and I can’t let it go, this desire to give her some chicken, so I tell her, “Listen. I was just at Dominick’s and I got this great deal on chicken. It was half off of the sale price—only two bucks for a huge pack.” She doesn’t say anything, so I continue, “Do you want a pack? I bought way more than we need.” She hesitates and looks at me like I have three heads. So I go in and get her a pack of chicken. She thanks me and continues her walk.

A few times since then I’ve thought, “She must think I’m a freak. What kind of person hands out chicken to their neighbors just because they got a good deal on it?” But a few days later I got an email from her, thanking me for that chicken. They were out of groceries and she had no idea what she was going to make for dinner that night. Now, I know they’re on a tight budget so she can be home with the kids, but I don’t know if she was out of groceries because they had no money or she simply couldn’t get to the store. (Spoken by a woman with enough money who has gone to the neighbor’s house with two empty sippy cups, asking for milk.) Either way, I am amazed at God’s provision for her.

I’m pretty sure the chicken was a God-thing, and yet it’s hard for me to accept. There are children on the other side of the world who will go to bed hungry tonight; people in the hospital, dying of cancer; refugees, running for their very lives. Why would God care about this particular neighbor’s dinner enough to prompt me to give her some inexpensive chicken? Why would God care about chicken at all in light of all of the need in the world? And the real question, why would God care about me, a middle-class suburban housewife, when He is God? Sovereign, Omniscient, all-powerful God? Surely He has better things to do than think about me. My view of God is expanding, but I still struggle with His care of me, as an individual. Oh, He loves the World, that’s for sure, but me? Really? It’s hard to remember my own moments of despair, running for my life, so to speak, and wonder that God can keep track of chicken prices in Naperville, but not me in my most difficult moments. I choose to believe He does, of course, but the chicken thing is still hard for me to get my head around.

10 comments:

Craver Vii said...

Could it have been a "God thing?" You betcha!

The Lord is so amazing! Isn't it great to be His?

I need some coffee said...

I am reminded of Act 8:26 - about 40. It amazes me that God took Philip from his ministry for the welfare of one person. God cares about the hearts of each person.
Wonderful.

Yvonne said...

Don't try to wrap your head around it - just let it be what it is - a God thing.

For now... said...

Just let God be God and do His thing. It is a beautiful thing to see him work in the small things! Good for you for being obedient to the Holy Spirit and being a part of that blessing

spaghettipie said...

Isn't it overwhelming that He chooses to use us? I mean, He could've made chicken magically appear in your neighbor's refrigerator if He wanted. Or better yet, she could've gotten home and dinner was cooked and waiting. But for some reason, He wants to use us. For some reason, using imperfect humans brings Him more glory.

I have some friends who went through some desperate times, and each time they needed groceries and didn't know how they were going to buy them, they appeared on their porch...right down to the same brand names they preferred. I often think of them and God's provision, but rarely consider the situation from the benefactor's point of view. What a privilege and a blessing to know how you might have impacted someone's life! Encourages me to be more aware of opportunities to answer God's prompting. Many times I'm too busy doing my "own" good things to listen.

Llama Momma said...

Thank you for the comments. I agree -- God is amazing. I guess my attempts to understand are really attempts to understand this whole *personal* relationship with God thing. What's my part? What's God's part? What can I expect from Him?

I feel like my spiritual "journey" has been more of a spiritual "roller coaster." It's exciting and full of twists and turns, highs and lows. And just when I think I know what's coming next, I don't.

I love that story in Acts about Philip. It's that kind of stuff that really gets me thinking, and reminds me that God will not be put into a box.

Llama Momma said...

SP -- we must have been posting at the same time. And, yes, it IS amazing how God uses ordinary people to meet the needs of others. I know I miss so many opportunities to do good, but am grateful when I don't. :-)

23 degrees said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
23 degrees said...

Way to listen! Way to go, LM!

Your last paragraph moved me. We know he loves us, we KNOW it, but sometimes we don't feel how crazy He is for US.

Just so you know, He is so nuts about you and your family! He was showing me photos of you guys that he carries around in His wallet—they were right next to the photos He has of His favorite...um, uh oh...CHICKEN!!

Llama Momma said...

23 - exactly. I know this...but I don't know this. :-)