This morning I had a couple stimulating conversations with my chickens. Yes, I talk to chickens. I will even admit to finding the interchange interesting at times:)
Currently, we are managing two movable electric fences, one with 25 layers acquired from an overwhelmed farmer just needing to cut his numbers down, the other houses our 36 heritage layer chicks who are 2 months old. The big girls like to fly the coop (despite wing clipping) and check out the grass on the other side – it must be a more exciting shade of green. (I’ve been guilty of this curiosity- as have most of us.) Problem is, chickens are social animals meant to live in a flock. They quickly become stressed when separated from each other, so it doesn’t take long before they want back in the coop with their poultry pals aka feathered friends aka chicken compadres. Sure enough, this morning while tying tomato plants in the nearby garden, I saw one of them pacing on my side of the fence and fussing. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to advise my feathered friend. “Silly girl- you get back in the same way you left. Just jump the fence!” Suddenly my mind was flipping to the pages of my story where I felt stuck and couldn’t figure how to get back in. The friend I offended and then fretted about how to make it right. The job I desired but found myself paralyzed when it was time to apply. The craving for community, but not knowing how to find it or create it. The dream of writing, but pacing back and forth in front of the fence instead of spreading my wings and going for it.
A few moments later, while picking beans I discovered one of the little chicks had escaped through a space in the electric fence in order to follow me. She was curious and staying right at my heels as I harvested. Wanting to make friends, I offered her a fresh bean as a treat but she was fearful and hesitant to take it. Holding the bean out I softly admonished her, “Silly chick- you brave an electric fence to come be with me but you don’t trust me to be good to you?!” As soon as the words came out of my mouth I was convicted. How many times have I doubted God’s goodness and hesitated to trust Him? My desire to follow Him was enough to move my family to the other side of the world and live in bush Africa during the Ebola crisis (my human equivalent to an electric fenceJ) but I find myself not fully trusting Him, unsure of Him in the simple things. It doesn’t make sense that I would be brave enough to change my whole life in order to chase after Him and yet keep a “safe” distance from His hand. Yet I have.
As I continued with chores I thanked God for His goodness and patience and all the loving people in my life who coach me, cheer me on and remind me I can fly. I need this because sometimes I’m just chicken.