If You Give a Chicken a Haircut

Stop rubbing your eyes. You read the title correctly.

As many of you know, my husband and I became backyard chicken farmers last year. Our little brood arrived in the mail from a website called mypetchicken.com. I’m serious. Look it up. We decided to add to our brood early this summer and ordered a few more little peeps.

thAnyway, as the babies began to outgrow their smaller enclosure, we decided it was time to integrate them into the flock with the adults. This is actually pretty tricky. It’s the whole pecking order thing, and if you aren’t careful, the younglings can get pecked to death. Not the outcome we hoped for.

Two days into the whole integration thing, I noticed our polish chicken didn’t look so good. Right off the bat, she’s got two strikes against her. She’s naturally smaller (a bantum), and she has trouble seeing through the thick foliage on her head. I saw that she was a bit lethargic. It’s been about a thousand degrees here in Birmingham and it occurred to me that I had not seen her drinking from the waterers we have for the big chickens. Either the bigguns weren’t allowing her access to the water (again with the pecking order), or she couldn’t see her way to them. Either way, she was half dead.

Ever the chicken lady, I scooped her up and took her inside. I rushed her into the dining room and asked my son to bring me a cup of water. After pushing her head down into the water a few times, Flopsie decided to drink. It was that or drown.

Like a wilted flower, little Flopsie perked up after a while. It was then that I decided we needed to give her a haircut. In order for her to rejoin her flock, she at least needed to be able to locate the waterer. I had never given a chicken a haircut before, but the results were fabulous. With the feathers removed that shielded her vision, and adequate hydration, she was like a new chicken! Isn’t she the cutest?

Flopsie, mid-haircut

Now you guys know me well enough to know that I don’t have something like this happen, and not relate it somehow to our spiritual growth. As I sat there loving on my little chicken, I couldn’t help thinking how quickly I dehydrate spiritually when I am separated from that which gives me life. Whether it is from my own shortsightedness, or because I allow things to keep me from connecting with God, the result is the same. Spiritually, I can look a lot like Flopsie… wilted, withered, and well, half dead. The good news is, I don’t have to drink in His goodness for long before things begin to look up.

I had a good friend tell me that we can only minister to others out of the overflow of our own spiritual cup. If you are feeling used up, burned out, or spiritually drained, maybe it’s time to drink in what only the Father can provide. He’s fully capable of supplying everything we need if we just ask. In the words of Chris Tomlin, “He’s a good, good Father”. It’s who He is. 🙂

I am entering into a twenty-one day period of prayer that started yesterday. Each fall, the members of our church commit to praying, connecting, worshiping and refilling our lives again with the goodness and power of the Holy Spirit. If you are feeling a bit wilted, it’s not too late to join us. Don’t be like Flopsie. Don’t be a half dead, wilted chicken… spiritually speaking.

“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” Jesus, (John 4:14)

So what do you think?

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