It happens every time I cut chicken. Every. Single. Time.
Of all the food prep I get to do, nothing gets me quite as emotional as cutting chicken. Raw or roasted, I find myself with knife in hand, loathing the work of separating meat from tendons, flesh from bone. I buy boneless chicken breasts for the specific reason that it minimizes how much “handling” I need to do of the meat.
Blade to bird, I find myself grossed out and grouchy that I have to do this in order to keep our growing family fed. But every time, without fail, I find the grouchiness giving way to gratitude: Thank you, God, that it is not my job to cut up chickens all day. Thank you for the people who do this for a living, so that I don’t have to. Thank you God for chicken-choppers.
And then, thinking that thought, I walk down a new mental road – thinking of professions I am grateful are not mine, but whose work I rely on day by day.
Thank you God for kindergarten teachers.
I do not think I would last two days in a classroom full of 5 year olds – but oh! Bless the wondrous souls who love our 5 year olds and return each day to listen to yet another story and gently correct yet another pencil grip.
Thank you God for nurses.
There are signatures on each of my children’s birth certificates from the doctors who attended their births. But when I think of the gutsy glory that is childbirth, I am filled with gratitude for the nurses who welcomed our babies into the world with us. They cheered and coaxed and took the photos. They mopped brows, asked about pain, offered pillows, and cleaned up; trading soiled towels for fresh ones without disgust or reprimand. They were the unsung heroes of labor.
While I’m on the subject, thank you God for all the people who clean up our waste.
Thursday is garbage day in our neighborhood; a day eagerly awaited by our two small truck-crazy boys. Even on Thanksgiving morning, while families across the country kicked back and roasted turkeys, our two faithful trucks rumbled by to collect trash and recycling respectively. On a day devoted to giving thanks, we were thankful once again for the garbage trucks.
Thank you for maintenance workers.
For those who answer calls on weekends. For the ones who fix power lines when they are down, and the ones who abandoned their Saturday morning breakfast to repair the furnace in the tiny apartment where we sat shivering with a newborn. And for the ones who clean sewers when they overflow. For all those with dirty jobs: thank you.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)
I stand chopping chicken, blade to bird, steadied with a new song of praise. For even this job, the worst of my daily tasks, is one which can be done unto the Lord.