I’ve been thinking a bit about bones lately. Aching bones. Turkey bones. Dem bones.
As far as aching bones are concerned, my fingers sometimes remind me that I’m almost 51 and it’s going to rain, only it’s been a dry year, so I’m not sure if I’m imagining it or if I really am getting arthritic in my (not so very) old age.
When it comes to turkey bones, however, I have a better grip on my knowledge. My mom was a magician when it came to turkey bones. The day after Thanksgiving she’d be back in the kitchen, removing every last vestige of meat from the once glorious turkey and plopping it into the largest cooking pot we owned along with an onion or two, celery, carrots, a bay leaf, salt and peppercorns and a whole lot of water. That thing would go on the back burner and simmer all day, coaxing out the goodness of the bones.
It always amazed me how Mom could make something out of nothing.
This year I cooked down the turkey bones, too. I don’t do it every year. Sometimes I stick it in the freezer, meaning to get to it later, and then, along about Memorial Day, I disinter its forgotten and freezer-burned carcass from the bottom of the deepfreeze, give it one look and toss it in the garbage.
But not this year.
I pulled out my largest cooking pot. I wrestled with the greasy remains. I chucked in onions, skins and all, along with some celery seed because I was out of celery and all the other mystical ingredients and seven hours later I, too, had made something from nothing.
Last night we had turkey soup with dumplings. I’m pretty sure it was the best such thing I’d ever made. There is a pitcher full of broth in the freezer for another day. A few smaller containers for recipes. Each one gelatinous, healthy, magical.
Something from nothing.
“Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones…” I don’t know if that song is politically correct these days or not, but I like it. Ezekiel prayed and called an army of bones into the service of God! Talk about something from nothing. It’s a little-recalled Old Testament Bible story, but wow, it’s a good one. My guess is it’s not taught often in Sunday School these days – too strange, too scary for children – but the truth of it is golden: God can take dried up old bones and turn them to His service. Rheumatic old bones. Freezer burned bones.
Kinda makes me realize that even stuck at home in the middle of a pandemic, there’s a place for me in God’s plan. It’s never too late. We’re never too old. God can use our dusty selves.
He’s the maker of our bones, after all.
“Now hear the word of the Lord!”