I love chickens! As a child growing up, my family didn’t raise them, so I was never exposed to them. However, in 1998, my husband and I decided to raise a few and as they say, the rest is history.
Today, having a few token “yard birds” seems to be the trend, and from looking at social media, it appears that they are the perfect solution if you are needing something to care for, knit for, build a playground for or prepare a gourmet dinner for.
If you don’t believe me just hop on Pinterest and do a quick search about chickens, and you will be laughing and shaking your head in disbelief. It’s very entertaining. Within the first few clicks you will see everything from specialty chicken treat recipes to hand-crocheted fall wardrobes for those chickens who prefer to wear clothes on cooler days. I have even learned that you can purchase a chicken stroller! Who knew?
I’m amazed while looking at the housing and coop pictures. They are so cute but could never keep out any kind of varmint, and I never see any chicken poop! There are never any fallen feathers laying on the ground. The water is sparkling clean, and all of the food is tidy and neatly contained in the feeders. I just keep thinking that either I am a terrible chicken mom or these people are not really raising chickens as the barnyard animals but rather babysitting them. In all the years that we’ve raised chickens (hundreds of them) I have never put a stocking cap on one of them during the winter or build them a new swing set.
Here’s the truth from the coop: CHICKENS ARE DIRTY! They are filthy dirty. Even when you’ve gone to great lengths to make sure that everything in their world is very clean it will only be a short time until it is dirty again. I have to confess, I enjoy looking at all of the funny chicken pictures online, and one day I might even dress one up just for a laugh. But, it’s unrealistic to believe that chickens are tidy pets. No matter how many clothes you put on them, toys you give them or fun snacks you serve them they are birds, and they are dirty. Pink knitted sweaters cannot hide this reality, but it is fun to pretend.
The same is true with people, but we disguise it differently. We clean up real well. We fix our hair and shave our faces and put on nice clothes and jewelry. We live in respectable homes, drive nice cars and prepare delicious meals. We take fun vacations, paint our fingernails and wear designer ties. Our families never struggle or quarrel. Our children and our get-togethers are all Instagram-worthy. We even create social media accounts to show the world just how perfect our lives are. All of us know that this is not the case, but we pretend.
While on earth, Jesus saw this same pattern. In Matt. 23:27, He had this to say, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
The scribes and Pharisees had made a practice of demonstrating their righteousness before men. They prayed loudly, dressed lavishly and condemned those who did not appear as spiritually clean. “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. (Matt. 23:5). Jesus called them “hypocrites” because they were pretending.
Chickens are dirty, and the hearts of people are, too. Praise be to our Heavenly Father for this truth: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
Dear friends, we don’t have to pretend. We can come to Jesus just as we are in all of our filthiness and He alone will dress us, not in pink-knitted sweaters but in robes of righteousness.