Turkey Angst and God’s Red Tape

I’ve already mostly processed through this elsewhere, but….  it’s a story to tell…

Husband is using up a couple of special liberty days that he had to use or loose by the end of the year.  He got a call from his supervisor yesterday saying, “There’s a turkey here for you.  Come get it.”  Well…  we were rather surprised and curious about the origin of the turkey.  Where was it from, why were we getting it?

Husband took off on an adventure to mail our holiday packages (brave man), and bring home the bird.  He came back with a box full of frozen turkey, 20 lbs. of potatoes, stuffing, and all the canned versions of holiday meal type foods that you can think of.  All this was in a box that indicated that it had come from our local food pantry. 

We have no idea how we were chosen to receive this box.  Apparently the superiors in Husband’s command gave away several.  My only guess is that they looked at pay-grade, and family size and thought as such that we were good candidates for Christmas Dinner.

But the thing is…  We have all that we need.  We are struggling a bit this year–but that is with ‘extra’ things.  And we’ve managed those extras in such a way (with plenty of help from family) that we certainly aren’t feeling all that uncomfortable.  We have a couple pennies to rub together.  We have presents under the tree.  We have the option of buying ‘name brand’ groceries and not just the stuff in the colorless packages.  We have enough food to eat *WAY TOO MUCH* right now.  When I think of folks who *need* a turkey dinner, we don’t come close to being on the list.

So I’m looking at this turkey…  wondering why we got it…  Feeling embarrassed that we did.  Feeling ashamed for being embarrassed.  Feeling guilty for being ungrateful and not just saying, “Thank you,” and eating the thing.  Wondering if this was part of a plan to teach us to be ‘grateful receivers…..’  Hating that this was probably exposing my pride….

And above all having this nagging feeling that here we were sitting with a full turkey dinner that we didn’t need in our kitchen while out there somewhere might be some family who *did* need it and *wasn’t* getting it.

Husband would tell you I obsessed over it.  He’s probably right.  I had so many confused feelings about the thing, I didnt’ know what to do.  Above all I couldn’t stop thinking–a TURKEY shouldn’t cause anyone this much angst.

By the time I’d left for Bible Study, I had decided that maybe the thing to do would be to be grateful…  and try to find a way to share the serendipitous bird-gift with others.  So…  We discussed having some of the single guys from Husband’s shop over to eat the thing and eat a home-cooked holiday meal….  saying thank you, and going on.  But, you see…  I still had these feelings.

I went to Bible Study and mentioned the situation and my feelings and one of the ladies immediately perked up and said, “I know someone who might really need that food.”  You see–she works with a mental health facility that sees a good many people who are down on their luck.  One of their clients that day had come in unable to provide food for her family.  It was an immediate need.  They had no food, and no way of buying it.  They visited the Food Pantry and were told that they could provide only the perishable food that they keep in bins for people to come get from day to day…..that the baskets that they had to give away were going to military families that day….. that there was protocol, and another day might work out better…..

Well–taking the grateful road or not, I could not hear of a very real need that hadn’t been met knowing that I had plenty–whether I had a free food basket sitting in front of me or not.  I called Husband and ran the situation by him and we made arrangements to get the turkey to my friend at her workplace today so that she could help get it to this family that desperately needs it.

The only thing I can figure is…  Maybe God has to get creative about working around red tape too….  So he utilized the good folks at the food pantry–through us who would hear of this need–to get these folks some help.

I still have feelings.  I still wonder if I am reacting this way because I’m puffed up with pride.  I still feel like I’m being ungrateful and a little confused and embarrassed that we got Mr. Turkey in the first place….

But.  The bird has a home.   And that makes me happy.


3 thoughts on “Turkey Angst and God’s Red Tape

  1. Itsn’t it amazing how God works? If you had never mentioned your story, you would have never known about that other person in need!

  2. It *is* difficult to accept stuff like that. We were so lucky that our hometown organized benefits for Eric and I when he was sick, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly ashamed when we received the money.

    But I see it as part of a grand circle…I’ve donated much money and time to donating to cancer-related causes since then. You give some times, you receive some times.

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