Friendship Lessons from Chickens
Many of my friends called me crazy a few weeks ago. It was Easter, and on a whim, my husband and I purchased six chicks. We might be crazy. We have a dog, a cat, and five kids. We eat a lot of eggs and thought we could save some money by buying some chickens to help with our breakfast budget.
Little did I know how much chicken drama would ensue as soon as we brought home the down-covered chicks. The first day we found our middle children letting the chickens take turns sliding down the playground slide. To say they were traumatized is an understatement. The pile of feathers they lost during their recovery was enough to ban the little ones from touching the chickens for awhile.
It turned out our cat wanted nothing to do with the birds, but our dog was obsessed. We couldn’t figure out if she wanted to play with them or eat them. Our eight-year-old cocker spaniel chased them, and one of our white ones, Elsa, became lost in the woodsl behind our house. The poor thing just disappeared among the brush. The kids quickly scooped up the remaining five and put them in a plastic bin. They carted the shamed dog into the house and began frantically searching for the lost chicken.
I stood in the chicken cage and decided to let the friends out of the bin so they could maybe make some noise to lure the lost one back. They didn’t walk around the yard or even hide under the chicken coop as they normally do. They stood right by the fence where Else had ran out. They didn’t follow her, but they didn’t leave the spot either. They clucked and pecked but stayed so close to the fence it warmed my heart.
Friendship is like that, isn’t it? True friends stand together, waiting for the one who has lost her way to return. I’ve been the lost chicken. I’ve gotten myself discouraged and defeated, but my friends came alongside me to encourage and lift me up. I’ve also waited for a friend in a similar season. I’ve prayed, sent cards, and stood with them. Just listening and being present is sometimes all we need to do. Stand by and wait.
In the story of Ruth, she befriends Naomi, her mother-in-law. When tragedy strikes, she doesn’t offer to fix it. Instead, she offers to stand by and wait. She offers her presence to Naomi.
“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God’” (Ruth 1:16, ESV).
The chickens knew they couldn’t rescue their friend, and we can’t either. It’s God’s job to do the miraculous saving. Let go of the responsibility of seeking out lost friends, and instead, just stand by. Later that afternoon, our sweet Elsa returned. The reunion was sweet and full of noise. I’m glad my little chickens are willing to teach me the value of friendships and just being present, standing close, and patiently waiting.
P.S. That’s as picture of our sweet chickens today!
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Is this you?
- I am so overwhelmed and stressed by the people around me.
- How do I feel the peace God promises in the middle of extreme heartache?
- Thoughts about the future cause extreme fear.
- Feelings of anxiety are underlying my heart, and no one sees it.
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