Several years ago a new family moved in a few houses away. It took about a year before I started getting to know this woman. I was on my way out of the church and in a difficult place. She has special needs kids and a lot on her plate. But through circumstances we finally became acquainted.
"What BIG CHICKENS you have! They're so much BIGGER than other stores! How do you get them so BIG? What do you season them with? Do you eat them? Do you like working here?" After peppering the poor man with questions she bought a Big Chicken and brought it to my house and presented it to me. She has been my Big Chicken friend ever since.
BC (for Big Chicken) is a completely authentic person. What she thinks, she says. If she feels like dancing, she does. She makes a lousy mormon. There is no facade with her. She is like a breath of fresh air in the stale, windowless room of mormondom.
She was one of the first people I told about my mom having a stroke. There was nothing she could do for me besides lend moral support so she did what she could. She called the relief society president. Again and again. The woman wouldn't answer her phone so BC drove over to her house and knocked on her door. How I wish I could have seen what happened next! It went something like this:
"Zena's mom just had a stroke and is dying. I've seen how you people have treated her since she quit coming to church. She's lived in this ward for 20 years and it's time you all started acting like the christians you profess to be! "
Knowing BC, I'm sure there was much more but that's the gist of it. The end result? Meals were brought in for my family the whole time I was gone. They ate better than when I'm home. (Of course, that's not hard to top since I don't cook anymore.) She saw a problem and confronted it head on. No fake smile, no beating around the bush. She calls it how she sees it, and with gusto!
Everybody needs a Big Chicken friend.