Monday, June 1, 2009

My Special Chicken

Amongst the grieving and searching through the ashes God is faithful to remind us of new life. Scott and I have dreamed of farming. We do not have very much land and we have never done anything beyond a small vegetable garden and caring for cats, turtles, and a dog. A few weeks before we found out about Mom’s death we had purchased 6 chicks and were busy trying to keep what we call our special chicken alive.

We think our special chicken has a neurological disorder and she fails to thrive. God has shown me so much through raising this chick that could be viewed a burden and needs to be euthanized. We have isolated her to ensure she has sufficient food and water and warmth. We have cuddled her to keep her from being lonely. We have cornered her when she’s freaking out to prevent her from injuring herself. She injures herself when she freaks out and sometimes the other chickens peck at her. She gets these spells (not so much anymore) where she falls down and cannot get back up. She just spins around in circles until she is covered in poop and soaking wet. And yet through it all we have kept in mind that ultimately she needs to be with the flock for protection and warmth. We have calculated the ideal times to put her back in with her sisters and incorporated her back into the group. She got to where she was calm enough to sleep with them at night and they accepted her and allowed her to huddle with them. Then she was able to be with them during the day. I suspected she still wasn’t eating enough and periodically now I remove her from the chicken pen and put her in her own place to ensure she gets what she needs.

Now that my chickens are old enough to be in the big pen, we have observed a strange phenomenon. When the special chicken freaks out and runs in circles (banging into the fence on all four sides) the other hens look up and see her and as a group they surround her and stop her from running: Therefore preventing her from further injury. It’s the very thing I did when they were chicks in the brooder. I would reach in and hold her still with my hand until she calmed down.

I am keenly aware that the care I give her is very much the care I receive from my Lord. I fall down in the muck and mire and spin around in circles, unable to get back up. God picks me up, cleans me up, and puts me in a special place where I am warm, well fed, and can heal from my wounds. My Lord calculates when I can be with the flock and moves me that direction. I am shy of the flock because I have been pecked at before. And yet God knows I need the flock. Through the care I have received directly from the Lord in his wisdom, I have found protection and warmth in the flock. When I was young my Lord reached down and held me until I was calm and now when I am in need the flock surrounds me and I know everything is going to be OK.

I am a special chicken.

Through this life I meet other special chickens and I know that only the Lord can feed them. I move them toward Him. But I also know that I am part of the flock that can bring protection and warmth. As a member of the flock I am privileged to be an instrument of healing. I am so glad to be part of the flock that surrounds and prevents injury- not the kind that pecks at a failing chick. I feel that is one of the reasons that my mother took her own life. She received a lot of care directly from the Lord. Her special place was at the piano. As she played and sung to Him she was being fed by Him. But she had been in so many flocks that pecked at her. She was shy of the flock and was never able to find her place amongst it. She needed so badly the warmth and protection of the flock but she huddled in a corner away from them getting rained on and making herself and target for predators.

I don’t believe God called her to do what she did but I think He saw her huddled away from the flock year after year. Injured and malnourished she wanted so badly to be held by the master. I think he finally just allowed her to go home. He didn’t send anyone to stop her this time. He just left the gate open. Although we see her torn apart by wolves and lifeless; Darkness did NOT win. We see her spot in the flock empty; her special place is void with her gone and we grieve. But she’s in the hands of the master and she will never be lying in the muck bleeding again.

Again my thought return to the flock that has nurtured, protected, and surrounded me. I thank you for being the picture of coinania (meaning fellowship.) Not many flocks out there know how to do life together and even more don’t know what to do with special chickens. As I taught my flock to help the special chicken so our Lord teaches us to how help others and He deserves all the glory and honor and praise