This post was inspired by other blogs that posted about the meaning drawn from the production of soup. While the story is my own, I cannot take credit for the idea. Hopefully this will inspire some of you to rethink the “leftovers” in your life (whatever they may be), and be able to find new meaning and the joy in being thankful for them too.
The meal is done, and all bellies are full. Sighs of contentment and words of appreciation – considered badges of the highest honor for the one who spent hours preparing this feast. As folks rise to help clear the table, someone asks, “So what do you want to do with this leftover chicken?”
You see, this cook (I) always has a knack for making WAY. TOO. MUCH…and the leftover carcass of the bird consumed (with enough meat on it to serve at least a few more people) testifies to this. I glance at the remains and ask that it be left, as I would be packing it away for future meals. Shocking…considering just a few years ago, I would never EVER consider eating anything that was cooked more than a few hours prior. I hated leftovers – I would have much rather simply toss the bones and meat and start over next time. It was wasteful, but I knew it would simply collect mold in my fridge anyway if I tried to save it.
The steamy, rich goodness so simple to produce but with the potential to sustaining us for what could be another three or four meals – what in the past I considered trash…waste…with no redeeming qualities, I began to see in a whole new light. By saving the broken bones and torn flesh of this yester-meal, I can be sure that we will be fed…well fed…for days to come.
I pick through the chicken remains, separating the salvageable meat from bones. It’s not a job I enjoy, but one I do willingly for the sake of what I know is to come from it. From the bones comes the richness of a meaty stock that flavors the water as it simmers. Carrots…onions…celery…thyme…bay leaves…salt…pepper…they all join the party to contribute their own unique and personal touch to the taste. Finally, the meat – the remaining flesh that brings life to the soup – is introduced and it seems that the heavenly angels begin to sing the Hallelujah Chorus.
Today, I am thankful for the broken and torn things. I am thankful for opportunities to partake in redeeming these things into something amazing and wonderful. And from this amazing and wonderful, I’m thankful we have assurance that we are fed for just a few days more…we live for a few days more. If we become good stewards of what we already have, no matter how broken or torn, we begin to understand just how rich we really are – and how blessed we really are.