Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hanging with the Chickens

Jason spent Sunday afternoon with us. Part of our usual routine when he's here is to go visit the chickens. He tucked his little hand in mine and we strolled through the back yard to the pen. We checked their food and water supply and watched them for a minute or two.

Then I caught sight of chicken feet--in the air! One of the hens was swinging from the nesting boxes by her foot! The plastic grain sack that the chickens use for nesting material had frayed into long strings. One of the strings had looped around the hen's leg and caught her when she jumped down from her perch. There she hung, swinging gently back and forth two feet from the ground, eyes wide with terror.

Jason and I bolted for the house yelling for David. I grabbed a pair of scissors and ran back to the pen. David arrived in time to hold Jason while I climbed inside to help the frightened fowl. She didn't fight me too much as I gently lifted her up and snipped the offending string off her leg.

The now freed hen limped around on her weakened leg. I guess she hadn't been hanging too long, because she was walking normally in just a few minutes.

The rest of the chickens in the pen were gathered on the opposite side of the pen, far away from their hung-up friend. These usually busy-body biddies had totally ignored her plight. She would have been dead in a few hours, but they seemed not to notice or care.

Hmm. Made me think about how we ignore our fellow Christians who get hung up in sin. I for one would prefer to move to the other side of the pen and pretend nothing is wrong when I see the danger signals that something is not quite right about a given situation. It's easier to look the other way than to confront the problem and risk the anger of the one we need to help. And the consequences of staying away just might be worse than those that were about to befall my feathered friend.

I've learned another lesson from my chickens. I think I'll remember that swinging hen the next time I'm tempted to ignore someone who's heading into trouble. I hope I'll have the courage to step in and help.

Back on her feet after a close call

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