As of yesterday, four of our six hens are laying eggs. I’m hoping now that we’re up to 3-4 a day we’ll have enough to share with family and friends. August brought a lot of long, hot days and I tried to let the girls out of their run to roam the backyard for a bit everyday. We don’t let them out all the time because they’ll eat all our plants and poop all over everything if we don’t supervise or limit the time. But they love to run and flap their wings and roll around in the mulch to take dust baths (necessary to keep cool and shake pests off their skin). Plus, I love to interact with them. They’ll come up to the back door to look into the living room and sometimes my favorite girl Sunny S.U. will even knock on the window with her beak to say hello.
One humid afternoon I took a container of blueberries out to share with my hens. (I like to thank them for all their fresh eggs!) Once the girls realized I had treats, they started to gather around. Most of the birds are afraid to get too close to me. I like to make them put in a little effort to get the treat so I’ll extend my arm as far as I can to offer a berry. A couple of the girls will snatch the berry and jump back to check it out and then gobble it down, not getting close enough for me to touch them. The three youngest birds won’t even get that close. They’ll scratch around the garden, barely paying attention to the berry frenzy the others are enjoying. Because I’m generous and I want them to learn to trust me, I throw a few treats to the most fearful ones, too. I have to practically pelt them with the blueberries in order for them to notice and enjoy the gift.
Then there is Sunny. Buff Orpingtons are known to be friendly chickens but I’m amazed at how different she is than the others. She’s never been afraid of me. While I was sitting on the steps throwing berries out to the distant ones, I realized she was standing quietly right by my feet. She wasn’t scared. She wasn’t impatient or greedy, pecking at my stash or me, as they sometimes do. I can reach down and pet her soft feathers and she’s never backs away. She was peaceful and content to stand by me and wait for any treats I might offer. I have six birds but my sweet, faithful Sunny got half of the berries.
I had a revelation that afternoon about Father God. He delights in His children and loves to give out blessings and good things. So often we’re afraid to get close to Him so we act like we don’t care. We’re content to scratch in the dirt for our own treats, ignorant to the fact that He’s freely giving out better options if we’ll only look at Him. Then other times we get the confidence (or desperation) to get close and snag a gift or a blessing but then jump back again, into a safe distance. I wonder what it would be like if we would really sit at His feet without any reservations, not because we’re greedy or desperate, but because we simply like to be close to Him. And undoubtedly, the ones who sit loyally at His feet will get more of the goodness.
I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming
(From “The More I Seek You” written by Zach Neese in 1999)