Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ain't No Thang Like a Chicken Wing

In today's episode of The Diet Starts Tomorrow, I attended a funeral that featured the recurring themes of family, music, compassion and fried chicken. KFC chicken wings, to be exact.

I could go on and on about the amazing life of Rev. Don Ambrose, but perhaps you did not have the pleasure of knowing him.  If so, it would only make you feel like you missed out on a singular sensation. What I want to share with you is simple. It's something we need to hear at the end of a school year, the start of a school year and all the days in between.

One person can make a difference.

Rev. Ambrose was the church's minister of music during my childhood. And he was pure joy. Mr. Ambrose could tickle those ivories like we were shaking our tail feathers at a juke joint. And the ridiculous songs we'd sing! We'd sing about Jesus as well, but I think the missing Beatitude may have something to do with joyful noisemakers being blessed too. It was likely inconvenient considering both time and space to shoulder even a wheeled upright pianny to the tip top of the Mount.

His joy and approachability marked a lifetime of drawing people together. In spite of every pew being filled today for his homegoing service, it was only a teensy tiny fraction of those people Mr. Ambrose has touched with his kindness.

Whatever your spiritual beliefs, many of us feel that we have been called to teach. And that we have been called to teach compassion along with delivering academic instruction. That's what I want to take away from being present for the celebration of Mr. Ambrose's life.

And about that chicken. Mr. Ambrose had a favorite treat that remained unaltered over time. There was a reception following the graveside gathering. Inside the fellowship hall were buckets of KFC chicken! I had every intention of chowing down on a wing, but I needed to hop in my dad's truck and get back to work. (Insert a side-eye to my father here.)

All of the sudden I had x-ray vision. As I was increasing the distance between me and the buckets, I could just picture them standing at attention on the long tables covered with food so common to the Southern Baptist culinary experience. I know it's just a missed wing, but I love ceremony and remembering people through food; I was all aboard that train.

After work, I picked up some FC of my own. (The KFC left my neighborhood.)

The bill totaled $6.66, but the cashier was with me when I got to the window of the drive-thru and asked if we could throw some apple pies on the order to make it better. Done and done.

Blessed are the extra adults I remember from childhood 
who helped grow my heart by sharing theirs with me. 

I am no Rev. Ambrose, but I hope that I can pay forward some of that compassion that he had for the world.

If you were unable to make the service and want to know today's closing hymn, here it is. The page number in your hymnal may differ.

No comments:

Post a Comment