As many of you long-time followers know, I am a proud and loving chicken owner.
Today, my best friend and fellow (though definitely less crazy) chicken lady, Eenie, started telling me her theory as to why God is kinda like a chicken owner. Why?
Well, let’s start with why I keep chickens. They’re my babies. Some of them, I’ve raised since they were inside eggs layed by hens that I also raised from infancy. They each have wonderful personalities, and can be sweet and loving, or flighty and scared. They’re stubborn, beautiful, each one unique and different and fun. They do minimal things to help me, but in the end, I keep them not because of the eggs they lay, but because I love them.
So how is that like God? Well, let’s think about this. God doesn’t need us. He’s totally and perfectly complete in Himself. But still, He has us, because He loves us. He sees our beauty and our uniqueness, the way each of us is different in what we like and how we act, and He loves us for it. He even used the analogy Himself, in Matthew 23:37, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
And we are definitely like chickens sometimes. Take the noble broody hen, for instance. It doesn’t matter if going broody and sitting on eggs is bad for her, if the season is wrong or she’s just not strong enough for what she wants to do, she will stubbornly stick to her plan and what she wants to do. No matter how much the hen may protest, the owner needs to gently but firmly break the bad broody habit so the hen can be healthy and happy in the long run (sound familiar?) Or think of all the ways that chickens fight, pulling each others’ feathers, even killing each other sometimes! They can be quite cantankerous, those chickens. Escaping the safety of the coop, messing with dangerous animals, chickens are independent buggers, and us humans are really no different.
But there goes God, day after day, protecting us and loving us and making sure we’re the best us we can be, even when we don’t particularly like Him. All those days when we fly up into trees or sitting on a bunch of eggs we aren’t supposed to be hatching, God is patiently rescuing us from ourselves and healing the wounds we inflict on ourselves and others, never loving us any less for the sake of our wanton stupidity. He’s the kind of God who would walk into a freezing night to check on us, cover us with extra warm straw, making sure we’re protected from the cold.
So, for those of us who are tired of the analogy of being sheep, why don’t we spend a while recognizing our inherent chickenness? If that mental image makes you laugh, it should, my fine feathered friends. The idea of God being like me, with a bumper sticker on his car (fiery chariot?) that says “chillin with my peeps,” is hilarious.
But hey, that’s what God does. He’s a God of almost silly love, love that doesn’t really make sense given how unloveable His beloveds can be, but still inexplicably and infinitely exists.
Weird poultry analogy over.
Love to all!