Healing, Hens, and Hope
Sometimes I hesitate to share what God is teaching me because the way He may speak to me looks different. Maybe my pride is afraid of what others will think, but pride obscures what God wants to do. So, here goes…
This is Camille and, she’s a chicken. She really loves my daughter, Arie. Camille likes to jump into our car when we’re getting ready to leave. She’s a chicken and she likes car rides. We know it’s weird.
She’s part of our favorite front-yard hens: Chacha, Camille, and Duck. Until two days ago, these three hens roamed free. It’s been fascinating to learn just how smart chickens actually are. (We still eat chicken, just not OUR chickens). Camille, Chacha, and Duck are beloved by our family and our neighbors. They surprise our neighbors with eggs in their planters and they love people!
To those that don’t know, I am the founder of Widow Strong, AND, well, also kind of an accidental lady-farmer at heart.
Two days ago Camille was attacked by a pack of dogs running loose on my street. I live in a neighborhood “in transition,” so an occasional random dog running loose in this area isn’t entirely unusual. A pack of dogs running loose is cause for concern.
My daughters heard barking near the front of our house and our hens squawking (we can tell when our girls are in distress). My daughters ran out of the house to fight for Camille. How Arie and Sophia got these large dogs to back off of our Camille while in “mid-snack” is impressive.
All this was happening without my knowledge as I was on a phone call in a room towards the back of my house. I was answering questions from a local pastor who was interested in starting a Widow Strong chapter at his church. Arie burst into my room weeping as she was holding Camille who had a chunk of feathers and skin ripped from her back and had been bitten. I quickly told the pastor I had to call him back and went outside to deal with the situation and make sure our other two front-yard hens were safe (they are now all in our backyard).
Camille looked bad, but we’ve seen worse.
We have learned that a wounded chicken needs the following conditions to heal:
- Love: without a sense of love and connection, a traumatized chicken will give up the will to live
- Peace: a hen needs a quiet, clean, peaceful place to calmly heal
- Security: a hen needs to know that she is not under threat
- Care: it takes time and effort to care for her wounds
- Medicine: she needs pain management and proper healing medications
- Nourishment: she needs proper nutrients and consistent feeding
We dressed Camille’s wounds and brought her inside so she could recuperate.
Yeah, we brought her inside our house.
Last night, we were watching Little House on the Prairie reruns with Camille (don’t judge) and, after I gave her pain meds, Camille could NOT get close enough to me. She first nestled into my belly, then flapped her way to my shoulder near my face, and then snuggled HARD under my chin.
I tried to reposition Camille several times so we could comfortably watch Little House together. We finally settled on the position in the attached picture. I added an artistic filter on this photo because, well, maybe it won’t look so unusual that way.
And it got me thinking…
When we feel attacked and ravaged, God doesn’t want us to be left outside in the cold, alone, exposed, and vulnerable.
Our Heavenly Father invites us into His sanctuary, to be as close to Him as we want! He invites us to snuggle up to His heart. He is there to make us feel safe, protected, cared for, and loved!
Does it seem unusual that my daughters and I go to all this effort for… a chicken? I’m sure it does. Our family does it because we love Camille. We raised her from a two-day-old chick and she’s our girl.
How much, MUCH, MORE does God, our loving Daddy, our Creator, want us to feel adored, protected, nurtured, and snuggled up to His heart especially when we feel wounded or ravaged?
As we enter the holiday season, if you’re feeling hurt…Know that Jesus ADORES you, is your Great Physician, and will never leave you!
I encourage you to simply call out to Him in your hurt, find a loving community, and trust His healing process in your life.
“He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.”
“…How often I have wanted to gather your children together [around Me], just as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were not willing!”
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself…”
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed.
Founder, Widow Strong
Widowed Mom, Adventurer, & Accidental Lady-Farmer
Learn More at WidowStrong.com