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Fried chicken love

October 19, 2015

Having fried chicken once a week was a given at my house. How well I remember coming in from school, starting my homework, and hearing the first sounds of grease popping on the kitchen stove. Soon, the smell of mama’s chicken permeated the air, filling every available space with its mouth-watering aroma. My sister and I practically raced to get the table set, put the ice in the glasses, and pour our sweet tea.

I remember which piece each of us liked the best. Daddy and my sister wanted a chicken breast, I wanted the legs, and my mama wanted a wing. When growing up days were over, I would come back home often to sit at my parent’s table and eat mama’s delicious meals. If we had fried chicken, I always knew what piece each of us would select. No matter how many years passed, it was always the same. Daddy and my sister took a breast. I took the legs. Mama took one wing. I remember what my mama would say as we swallowed a bit of guilt over her taking the smallest piece. “Oh, I just love the wing,” she claimed.

When mama was much older and no longer cooked, my sister and I brought home fast food buckets of chicken. On one of those days, as we passed the chicken around, I was sure I did not hear her correctly. At 92, her always soft voice seemed even softer. 

“You want what piece, Mama?” I asked.

“Oh, the leg! That’s always been my favorite piece of chicken.”

The leg? The leg she always made sure I had? How does one woman keep a secret like this for so many years? Mama was always teaching me lessons, and most of them came when she wasn’t even trying. Who would have guessed there was a lesson for me wrapped inside years and years of chicken wings! 

My Mama’s sacrificial love spoke loudest when she never said a word. What about you? Unconditional love speaks volumes to your children about the way God loves them. It also releases the Spirit of Christ over your relationship with them. 

Sacrifices of love come to us in big and little packages. A mother’s long-planned shopping trip is canceled because she would rather stay home and make sure her child’s fever leaves. In a broader sense, a mother gives up one meal a day in order to make sure her child has a new winter coat.

Maybe you’ve been the recipient of someone’s sacrifice, and you understand the cherished feeling you gained of another’s love. The reverse is true, too. When you sacrifice for someone else’s happiness, you not only pass on what you have learned, but you receive the deep joy that comes from giving up something for someone you love. 

God knows all about sacrifice. It is one of His best qualities. He showed it best when He gave His only Son to be sacrificed for our sins. 

When mothers live for Jesus, His love naturally spills out on their children. At the dining room table, in the kitchen, in the living room and in the yard, unselfish love brings volumes of Godly teaching to your family. Bless your children with the gift of unselfishness, and watch them learn about the goodness of God without your ever saying a word.

The Rev. B.J. Funk is associate pastor of Central UMC in Fitzgerald. Email her at bjfunk@bellsouth.net.

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