Grace showed up at my house tonight in the form of fried chicken. Here’s the story…
The past few days around here have been rough. My son has been sick with a high fever for four days, and sleep has been sparse for both of us. His little sister, however, is full of vim, vigor, vitality…and sibling rivalry. She’s not unaware of the extra attention that he is getting in his weakened state. And she’s letting us know about it, loud and clear.
So we all had midday naps yesterday. Much, much needed naps. And then, by the grace of the God of all seasons, the weather was fallish enough to go outside for a bit. I fixed dinner and set it on the counter to wait my husband’s arrival home, and we all went out to air ourselves out in the pleasant autumn breeze.
I sat in the yard, enjoying the season and the moment…happy that B was feeling well enough to play a while and that D was being cooperative with him. I was happy that dinner was ready…my first attempt at oven-fried chicken. It was tasty and not greasy, flavorful and not heavy. I was glad that, even though I had one man down, dinner was ready, the table was clear of folded laundry, and the house was in pretty decent order for the start of the school week.
When I went inside to get some water for my parched son, I saw it. The empty platter. With tell-tale residue still on it. And the scoundrel dog nowhere in sight. I was angry. Very angry.
When I returned outside and told the kids, they laughed, but then asked, ‘So what are we going to eat for dinner?’ ‘Mashed potatoes and peas.’ I replied. ‘Or maybe we should eat the dog.’
Later that evening, I texted a friend whose dog had once eaten an orange crayon just as my friend was getting ready to color a pumpkin. ‘How do I color a pumpkin with no orange crayon?’ he had pondered. In my text, I commented that ‘your dog ate your crayon, but my dog ate our fried chicken dinner!’
I’d love to say that I had a chuckle or even a grin about the whole incident, but I didn’t. I was tired. Bone tired from repeated nights without real rest. Emotionally spent from the war of the sibs over my attention and affection. There was no humor to be found when dinner was lost the night I had no energy to do it all again. And, admittedly, it led me to cathartic cry.
Today, when I got home from work, there was a box of fried chicken (and macaroni and cheese) on the kitchen table and a smiling friend on my porch.
I was reminded of a song that the choir at my childhood church used to sing. ‘The precious, unmerited favor of God has been extended to me/ The marvelous grace of my savior knows no boundaries…’ I didn’t do anything to earn or deserve this neighborly gesture. It wasn’t repayment for any deed I had done. It was a loving gift…a gift for someone who needed help. I couldn’t make the dog give dinner back…we really couldn’t eat the dog for dinner. I couldn’t undo what had been done. But someone else reached out to make right what had been wrong. Someone interceded in a precious, unmerited way.
Grace. I’d take it over fried chicken (and macaroni and cheese) any day.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (but here’s the whole chapter)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Oven baked fried chicken recipe that my dog ate: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/170855379588952588/