That Sunday started off as any typical day, with Jayson and I preparing for morning church services. At the time, Jayson and I were staying in a missionary guest house in Mt. Hagen, an ever busy city a few hours from Jayson’s village. Brilliant sun rays poured over our faces as we stepped outside the guest house. A few white clouds danced across the bright blue sky, and a gentle breeze rustled through the bustling streets. Dodging the many potholes scattered in the road, we safely arrived at the church and took our seats on one of the many wooden pews. My eyes focused on the screen as words of a familiar hymn filled the white background. We listened intently to the pastor’s message, but by the end of the main service, my empty stomach was beckoning for food, insisting on subtly informing me by quiet rumbles during the sermon. If I was hungry, I knew for sure my better half would be ravenous.
After the service, Jayson and I went back to our guest house, ready to prepare our dinner. Some of the church boys came with us. With more fellowship came more hungry mouths to feed. Jayson asked one of the boys to go to the market and get some produce and a chicken so we could have enough food for the six other hungry guests. This request would change my ordinary Sunday to a day I would never forget.
I was occupied in the guest house kitchen, adding all the ingredients to make my dough as part of our evening meal. Murmuring of voices grew louder as the church boys came close to the door, bringing the food bought from the market. Jayson swung open the kitchen door and entered, two grocery bags filling his hands. I peered into the one white grocery bag, my mouth watering as I glanced over the colorful assortment of fresh vegetables from the market. Jayson clutched the other white grocery bag, concealing the mysterious food inside. I wondered why he had wrapped the bag up so tightly and firmly grasped the contents inside. He set the bag on the floor, and I gasped when the plastic moved. Something was alive in there! Jay slowly opened the bag to reveal a large, white, and fully alive chicken, it’s wings trying to flutter against the enveloping material.
“Baby, what is a live chicken doing in our kitchen?” I was dreading the answer.
“I said we were going to get a chicken for dinner.”
“But you didn’t say it was going to be alive! Wait you’re going to kill it…in here?”
As he grabbed the knife, I knew I had my answer. I closed my eyes most of the time as Jay and his friend proceeded to behead and prepare the chicken for eating. My chickens had always come prepackaged, feathers plucked, and no head or claws attached. Now a whole dead chicken was boiling in the large pot on the stove. I’m glad the upper half of the chicken was at the bottom of the pot…I didn’t want it looking at me while I prepared the rest of the meal. I still have yet to bring myself to eat parts other than the wings and breast.
There is a first for everything-especially here in Papua New Guinea-the land of the unexpected. Heading into an area that is unknown to me, I am so glad I always have with me the comforting presence of my Almighty Father. Also, I am so blessed to have a man that knows where he is going…his home now will be our home. Marriage is a time of new beginnings, a time of working through differences and chuckling at amusing moments such as this one. Misunderstandings and miscommunication will happen, even over a live chicken. Learning to forgive and giving continuous edification to our spouses help us work through those times of difficult communication. Marriage is a sacred vow of self-sacrificing and a lifetime teaching experience, a continuous classroom of studying and learning your mate. God can even use the humor of a dinner preparation to teach us about one another. And for now, I’ll leave the live meal preparation to my capable husband.