Last week, my in-laws were out of town, and it fell to my youngest daughter to check on their chickens. As she was feeding, watering, and talking sweetly to her little flock, one of the birds flew out of the pen and roosted 20 feet up in a nearby Maple.
Fearing for that brave hen’s safety, my girl called her Papa for advice. “Don’t worry about the chicken—she’ll spend the night in the tree and fly down in the morning;” comforting words, but was grandpa right? We set our alarms for 5:00 a.m. and made it back to my in-laws’ before dawn. Sure enough, right after daybreak, that crazy chicken flew down from her perch, and we were able to get her back into safety.
Having experienced what it means to “fly the coop” and later to “have your wings clipped,” my wife and I talked about other common expressions stemming from raising chickens (I wasn’t “henpecked”—it was an open discussion). “Rule the roost,” “pecking order,” and “madder than a wet hen” are familiar sayings. “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched,” “don’t put all your eggs in one basket:” good financial advice, especially if you’re just “scratching out a living.”
The Bible relates our relationship with God to a mother hen and her brood, as Jesus wants to gather His people, “just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Luke 13:34). My grey hairs and recent physical therapy visit remind me I’m no “spring chicken” anymore. But still I am learning of the safety and protection for our souls with the Lord, as “under His wings you may seek refuge” (Psalm 91:4).
What a blessing to know of God’s shelter and care, especially when you’re chicken hearted like me.