I sipped the steaming chicken broth, and nodded with satisfaction. It was both warming and relaxing, with the perfect balance of flavors. It was rich, but not too heavy. It was a salty savory, but with an undertaste of sweetness. Most importantly, the broth I made tasted just like the broth my mother makes.
For the past few weeks, my mother has been in the US helping Karen with her kids, having just given birth to her third child, Elliot. Drinking chicken broth while my mother is away helped me to appreciate what she does even more, because even though the chicken broth tasted wonderful, there was one critical way where my broth couldn’t compare to my mother’s chicken broth.
You see, chicken broth is a trademark of my mother’s cooking. Comprised of chicken bones, herbs, random bits of meat to add extra flavor, and hours of cooking time, my Mom always has a batch either on the stove or in the fridge. That way, whenever my Mom is cooking, chicken broth is ready to replace water in many a recipe for added flavor and nutrition.
For this to be possible, stewing chicken broth isn’t just something my mom does occasionally: it is a lifestyle of love, requiring a regular investment of time and energy. That’s not an easy thing to do. For me, I only want to show love when it’s convenient. Going out of my way to be ready to show love to others? Why bother? Stewing chicken broth regularly? How inconvenient.
Obviously, that is not a loving attitude, but what can you do when you’re exhausted, when you’re under appreciated, when you’re lazy, and just don’t want to take the time and energy to show love to others?
The funny thing is, my Mom has often said she doesn’t enjoy cooking. Why would she spend so much time doing something she doesn’t enjoy? Because she has learned to use her cooking as a way to serve and love whomever God brings into her path, and in turn, show her love for God. God has done so much for her, so she in turn is willing to do whatever necessary to show love to God. Even through something as little as cooking chicken broth.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.” –Matthew 25:40