The Day A Chicken Taught Us A Lesson of Easter

 

Photo Credit: Paul Joseph via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Paul Joseph via CC Flickr

The following true story shows to all of us how sometimes God uses things that we would never imagine, to teach us lessons. God works in mysterious ways…and sometimes we can learn lessons in ways that we never dreamed of. The following story is a sweet account of a lady, one of her pets, and how her little friend taught a lesson of faith to a group of people.

What do you think of when you think of Easter?

Eggs, of course. The symbols of new life come spring. How better to illustrate the season’s spiritual message?

I looked forward to teaching the lesson of the egg in my Sunday school class as Easter approached, but when I asked the children where eggs came from the answer surprised me.

“Bunnies!” all 12 students shouted.
Bunnies? I thought. Could these kids be so far removed from nature they actually think rabbits lay eggs? My own chickens would have been insulted!

“It’s on TV,” one of the girls explained. “A white rabbit lays chocolate eggs.”

Now I knew what they meant. I’d seen the commercial, but it didn’t have much to do with the lesson I wanted to teach. I had to think this through.

The following Sunday morning I got ready for school, still not sure what to do. I have to find a way to set them straight, I thought.

I checked my chicken coop before I left. My birds strutted and clucked around the hen houses: Ida, Ada and Henney Penney in their nesting boxes, Rudy the rooster scratching at the ground. Penney puffed her feathers to twice her size when Rudy got close. She was guarding a dozen eggs.

“If only the kids at Sunday school could see your eggs,” I said, stroking Penney’s copper-speckled feathers, “they’d forget all about chocolate.”

That’s when it hit me: What if I took Penney and her eggs to Sunday school with me? How many of the kids had ever seen a real egg hatch? Or watched an ordinary-looking, beige-colored egg turn into a live chick with bright little BB-pellet eyes, downy feathers and tiny feet, peeping away? The hatching of an egg was like a miracle. Why not share it with the kids? I’d give those children an Easter message they’d never forget!

I hunted for a box to hold the eggs. But wait a minute: Was I really planning to bring a chicken to church? I tried to remember another time any kind of animal had joined us at our solemn service. Once a sparrow flew in an open window and fluttered around, disturbing the reading. And a puppy had wandered in and led the ushers in a merry chase around the aisles while the children laughed. But those events hadn’t been planned.

I thought of a certain church lady, a good Christian with very strong opinions. She’d once objected to my son’s carrying in a Bible with a jazzy cover. “It’s a New Testament,” I’d assured her as she eyed the brightly colored jacket.

“Well,” she’d sniffed, “it looks like a Betty Crocker cookbook!”

I had a vision of my little bantam hen pooping on the ecclesiastical carpet. “I guess chickens really don’t belong in church,” I said. But then I remembered Jesus’ own words in the Gospel of Matthew: “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.”

“That settles it,” I told Penney. “Jesus would approve of a chicken in church, and he’s who matters!” Penney would be in the Sunday school wing anyway. Nowhere near the church, actually. And nowhere near that straitlaced church lady (I hoped).

I poked holes in the lid of a straw-filled cardboard box and transferred Penney and her eggs into it. It was waiting on the table when the children came to class. As they took their seats I said, “Guess what’s inside.”

“Rabbits!” one boy shouted.

“Kitten!” a girl said over him.

“Puppy!” called someone else.

“Nobody has guessed it,” I said and lifted the lid. All the children gasped. Penney blinked in the sudden light and ruffled her feathers, but soon settled down and clucked. The children came forward slowly, so as not to scare her. The girls took turns stroking her feathers.

“What do you think Penney’s brought with her?” I said. I lifted her up to reveal a dozen eggs.

A boy poked one of the shells with a pudgy finger. “How can she sit on them?” he asked. “They’re hard!”

“Penney wants her babies very much,” I said. “She’s willing to go through hard things. Just like your mother did before you were born. God puts love into all parents’ hearts—even chicken parents!”

Now that the children had seen the eggs, I offered them a deal. “Penney has laid 12 eggs. That’s one for each of you,” I said. “You have a choice what to do with your egg. You can take it home and have your mom cook it for breakfast…”

The children giggled.

“Or I can bring Penney back next week and you can see your eggs turn into babies!”

Not one child voted for an omelet. By the following week the children had told all their friends. We discussed the impending blessed event. They couldn’t wait to see the chicks they’d been promised on Easter Sunday.

I promised, I thought as I got ready for bed on Saturday night. Should I have been so confident the children would see chicks on Easter? It took 21 days for a bantam hen egg to hatch, and in the interest of timing, I’d taken the eggs from under Penney so that she’d miss a day of brooding. But what if I’d miscounted, or addled the eggs when moving them? What if Penny’s temperature wasn’t just right? The hatching of a chicken was God’s work, not mine. God, I prayed after I switched off the light, please let at least one egg hatch for them.

The church parking lot was crowded the next morning. Everyone came for the Easter service. But why were so many people gathered around the Sunday school wing? I made my way through the crowd with my cardboard box.

“Is that Penney?” a woman asked me.

“Did the eggs hatch yet?” a man said.

They were all here to see Penney and her eggs! Along with every child from every Sunday school class, not just my own. Even the pastor came over to see what was going on. “It’s an expectant hen,” I told him, blushing. “I thought the children would like to see the eggs hatch.”

“What a perfect way to illustrate today’s sermon!” he said. “Would you bring Penney into the church?”

So much for keeping Penney under wraps, I thought as a pack of children cheered and followed me into the sanctuary. They plunked themselves on the stage at the front of the church. Okay, God, I thought as I lifted the lid. Time for an Easter miracle!

A gasp went up. There was Penney with not one but six wobbly chicks. Three were already dried and fluffy as dandelion down. The other three were still wet from their shells. Two more eggs were nearly cracked in half, the babies just emerging. The last four eggshells showed tiny holes where miniature beaks were pecking.

I looked up, beaming, from Penney’s new family—right into the face of that straitlaced parishioner I’d dreaded. She was gazing down at the chicks as happy and amazed as the little girl in front of her who asked, “How did you get the eggs to hatch right on Easter?”

“God decides when the eggs hatch,” I said. “He knew this was the right time!”

And just the right place—right in his own house, where all new life begins.
——————
Credit: Isabel Wolseley as it appeared on “Angels on Earth” via Guideposts.org

Why Did The Chicken REALLY Cross the Road?

Have you ever REALLY wondered why the Chicken crossed the road?  Well the following answers are from famous people around the world. You will be enjoy reading there answers. Read them to find out what they are!

GEORGE W. BUSH
We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or it is against us. There is no middle ground here.

AL GORE
I invented the chicken. I invented the road. Therefore, the chicken crossing the road represented the application of these two different functions of government in a new, reinvented way designed to bring greater services to the American people.

COLIN POWELL
Now at the left of the screen, you clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

HANS BLIX
We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed access to the other side of the road.

MOHAMMED ALDOURI (Iraq’s former ambassador)
The chicken did not cross the road. This is a complete fabrication. We don’t even have a chicken.

SADDAM HUSSEIN
This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

RALPH NADER
The chicken’s habitat on the original side of the road had been polluted by unchecked industrialist greed. The chicken did not reach the unspoiled habitat on the other side of the road because it was crushed by the wheels of a gas-guzzling SUV.

PAT BUCHANAN
To steal a job from a decent, hard-working American.

RUSH LIMBAUGH
I don’t know why the chicken crossed the road, but I’ll bet it was getting a government grant to cross the road, and I’ll bet someone out there is already forming a support group to help chickens with crossing-the-road syndrome. Can you believe this? How much more of this can real Americans take? Chickens crossing the road paid for by their tax dollars, and when I say tax dollars, I’m talking about your money, money the government took from you to build roads for chickens to cross.

MARTHA STEWART
No one called to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the farmer’s market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

JERRY FALWELL
Because the chicken was gay! Isn’t it obvious? Can’t you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the other side. That’s what they call it — the other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And, if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like the other side.

DR. SEUSS
Did the chicken cross the road?
Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes, The chicken crossed the road,
But why it crossed, I’ve not been told!

ERNEST HEMINGWAY
To die. In the rain. Alone.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

GRANDPA
In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

BARBARA WALTERS
Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting and went on to accomplish its life-long dream of crossing the road.

JOHN LENNON
Imagine all the chickens crossing roads in peace.

ARISTOTLE
It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

KARL MARX
It was an historical inevitability.

VOLTAIRE
I may not agree with what the chicken did, but I will defend to the death its right to do it.

RONALD REAGAN
What chicken?

CAPTAIN KIRK
To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

FOX MULDER
You saw it cross the road with your own eyes! How many more chickens have to cross before you believe it?

SIGMUND FREUD
The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

BILL GATES
I have just released eChicken 2003, which will not only cross roads, but also will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook – and Internet Explorer is an inextricable part of eChicken.

ALBERT EINSTEIN
Did the chicken really cross the road or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON
I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What do you mean by chicken? Could you define chicken, please?

COLONEL SANDERS
I missed one?

—————-

Photo Credit: Ashley Dace – CC via Wikimedia Commons

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