Chicken Soup for the Soul

God always has purpose in whatever he allows into our lives, and this week God has shown himself strong through chicken soup.  It took a diagnosis of pneumonia to bring on the chicken soups that blessed me so richly.

The first encounter with chicken soup started on the way home from the doctor’s office when the friend who took  me there insisted on stopping at a local store of the chain famous for its chicken filets.  She was convinced their version of chicken soup would be just what I needed.  She ordered two large bowls.  I had my debit card at the ready when the worker announced the total, but my friend would not hear of my paying for the soup.  This friend had interrupted her day of preparation for out-of-town company to take me to the doctor in her car, and now she was insisting on paying for chicken soup.  Since I was still reeling from the doctor’s diagnosis of pneumonia, I accepted her gracious gesture with thanksgiving both to her and to the Lord.

This transaction took place late in the afternoon but too early for the supper hour, so the chicken soup went into the refrigerator.  When I finally got around to eating it, I noticed the noodles were of a different consistency than those found in Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, the standard by which all other chicken soups are judged!  The chicken was chunky,  All in all, it was very tasty.   I thanked God again for the blessing of his provision.

It was not long before news of my illness had circulated through the church grapevine.  Members of my local assembly, a church that on purpose tries to function as a true Body of Christ, began calling with assurance of prayer and solicitations of “can I do anything for you?”  One lady announced that she had just made a pot of chicken soup and asked if she could bring some over.  This Godly lady has a reputation for her culinary skills, so I was eagerly anticipating her version of chicken soup, and she did not disappoint.  She arrived late in the afternoon of a very cold and rainy day.  This lady who suffers with great back pain inconvenienced herself to minister to my necessity.  Her simple gesture spoke volumes.  Her recipe for chicken soup contained rice, smaller-but-generous-in-number chunks of chicken and, best of all, it was hot and ready to eat.  This lady knows me well, and included in her delivery were a few chewy-gooey brownies!  How marvelous are the works of the Lord!

There was a third delivery of chicken soup from a close friend and confidante who took time from a busy professional schedule to be God’s instrument.  Her recipe for chicken soup included shredded white meat chicken, rice, vegetables and cream of chicken soup.  It was delicious and very satisfying over several meals.

Each recipe for chicken soup accomplished its purpose – it satisfied my need for nourishment and delivered all that chicken soup is reputed to deliver for upper respiratory illnesses.  Yet I was still struck by the diversity of each recipe.  Even the soup from the national chain was put together by someone, and the vision in my head is that of God superintending the selection of each ingredient, prompting stirring at just the right moment and supernaturally adding his own love and care to the mixtures that would minister so sweetly to one of his own.

As I write this on Saturday morning, the thermometer indicates I still have a fever.  I pray this piece makes sense and conveys how these simple, similar acts of kindness brought great blessing to my body and soul.  The recipes for chicken soup were as varied as the cooks putting them together, but they each accomplished God’s purposes!

The Lord be praised!