Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting (Luke 15:23, Common English Bible).
As for husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her (Ephesians 5:25, Common English Bible).
This is part 10 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.
“OK Keith. Hold on a minute. You said this was about the Thanksgiving table! ‘Pass the Ribs?’ What gives?”
Boy, I am sure glad you asked that question. After I entered the ministry there were several years Cindy and I, along with our boys, were unable to go home (either her parents or mine) for Thanksgiving. For many of those years Cindy worked in banking and contrary to what many believe, banks are open on the Friday after Thanksgiving and she always had to work. The distance was just to far to make a one day trip so we stayed home and had Thanksgiving with just the four of us.
One of these years we were lamenting the fact that if we bought a turkey we would be eating turkey for days. The boys weren’t that crazy about turkey and to be honest, neither was I. It’s OK on Thanksgiving Day and the sandwiches from the leftovers (we will talk about those later) are good as well. But, in my line of work it is not at all unusual to have had two or three “Thanksgiving meals,” always turkey before Thanksgiving and with the Christmas season right afterwards, I really didn’t want to eat turkey leftovers for a week.
As we were all talking, Cindy told us, “Don’t worry, I know what to do. I will handle it.” That was all she would say then. But, on Thanksgiving morning, I walked into the kitchen to her getting beef ribs ready to cook. I kind of looked at her funny and she said, “What? You don’t think at what had to have been a cookout on the first Thanksgiving they might not have had something besides turkey, like barbecue?” Well, I couldn’t argue her point without having historical data to back it up. Besides, I liked her logic. And, I liked her menu even better (and this may have been the Thanksgiving that put the idea of Deviled eggs into my Thanksgiving thought). And with that, a new tradition was born into the Broyles household. From then until the boys were grown and gone, if it was just the four of us, ribs were the menu item of the day.
I love my wife. She is often someone who can think quickly and clearly, outside the box. I love barbecue in general and ribs in particular. So do our boys. Yet, in spite of how much I enjoy a great plate of ribs, I never even considered that for our Thanksgiving meal. But, Cindy did.
It isn’t the first time Cindy has come up with a creative solution to a problem (I know, in the grand scheme of things this isn’t much of a problem), nor was it the last and I would imagine as we move into the future she will continue to have creative inspiration for which I will always be grateful.
But, it wasn’t just the idea of having ribs for Thanksgiving dinner. Cindy is also an excellent cook. One look at me can back up the idea that Cindy can really cook. That Thanksgiving meal is but one example. She does so again and again at other meals. She has even done so a few times when we have hosted more traditional Thanksgiving meals when the whole family has come to visit us.
Cindy has gotten creative in other areas too. I called her one evening a few weeks ago. One of our church members was in the hospital with a broken leg and when he left the hospital he would be going into a nursing home. I wanted to do a prayer quilt (something we have done in other places) for the man to remind him of the prayers his church was lifting up for him. Before the night was over she had designed the quilt from scratch. By the end of the next night the quilt top was made, and before Sunday morning the quilt was finished so church members could pray over it. It is just another example of Cindy’s creativity and her attitude to get things done.
All of this is to say, I am thankful to God for the gift of my wife. Cindy is quick to tell people she didn’t marry a preacher, she married a sailor. Yet while that is true, I couldn’t ask for anyone better to be a compliment to my ministry. Over the years there are so many things that have happened because of who my wife is and the talents and gifts God blessed her with. I will forever be thankful to God.
So, I would appreciate it if someone would pass the ribs. Not only do they taste really good, they remind me of my wife and I need to say prayers of Thanksgiving again and again for all she does in my life.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.