Then she smiled and returned to the kitchen where she began adding carrots to her Turkey Neck Soup.
My Mom resembled God in that neither of them wastes anything. God never wastes our experiences, for example. He always finds a way to use them to help us grow, or perhaps to comfort someone else.
My Mom, on the other hand, never wasted a pencil if it had half an inch of lead left in it. And she might throw away my Dad’s worn-out boxers, but not before cutting off the elastic around the top, just in case she might need a large rubber band at a later date.
Beyond such innovations, Mom was also a master at encouraging me to make my own fun, which was an especially good thing when you’re growing up in a town with no stoplights. Fun might come via a trip to the local gravel pit to look for geodes and Indian beads or, in this case, it was handing me freshly scrubbed turkey neck bones and expecting art to appear from leftovers.
Which it did. All it took was a quick visit to our “junk drawer” where misplaced game pieces, broken ink pens, milk jug caps, and a variety of nuts and bolts were gathered for such a time as this.
The Turkey Neck Bone People that I created that day have survived 46 years in their egg carton display case. I rediscovered them 14 years ago after Mom relocated to Heaven and my siblings and I took a year to organize her house, a house that held many, many things that were waiting to be made into something new.
I’m glad Mom kept the Turkey Neck Bone Sailor, Cameraman, Hippie, and the Blind Man with his pencil cup and dog. No, you probably won’t see this craft taking Pinterest by storm, and certainly there’s no deep theological point to be made. They simply make me thankful for a creative Mom who knew better than to waste the leftovers, whatever form they might take.
“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus ordered. And all of them—the approximate count of the men only was five thousand—sat down on the grassy slopes. Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks to God and passed them out to the people. Afterwards he did the same with the fish. And everyone ate until full!