And A Sick Chicken Story
I did not sign up for this. In fact, I didn’t sign up to care for chickens at all. (I’ve mentioned that before!) Yet there I was, a pot of warm water in hand, helping Morton dunk a chicken’s butt into the pot. She was sick. He didn’t know if she was egg bound or truly ill, but we tried every way we knew to make her better. Nothing worked.
Finally, Morton took her to the vet. If she had a disease, he didn’t want her sharing it with her coop-mates. Plus, well, he didn’t have it in him to put her down.
He thought about shooting her one night, but I objected loudly – I was afraid he would shoot himself in the dark. He thought about getting her with a hatchet, but then all he could envision was the other hens watching in horrified terror. So, in the end, he took her to the vet. Morton’s friends with chickens all laughed at him but he didn’t care. Those two-legged fowls were his children. Their care was in his hands.
In Genesis 1, God gave His created people the responsibility to care for the earth and all living things in it. He breathed life into two-legged, four-legged, no-legged, finned, winged and slimy creatures equally. That includes chickens, dogs and cats, fish … and each other. All living, breathing creatures. Especially people.
Caring for God’s created calls us to live a lifestyle of generosity. Christ actually mandates that we share ourselves: our time, our abilities and our finances with each other. Bottom line – He calls us to love one another with His own precious style of love.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove
to the world that you are my disciples.
John 13:34-34 NLT
Some days I wonder if we Christians take our assignment seriously. When we even glance at the news, we see people out of control, self-centered and caring for only themselves. And we are discouraged at the state of our world; we are heartbroken over the divisiveness, the anger, the pain, the injustice.
Yet, when we take the time to peer into faces around us, one-by-one, we do see people loving people. We see good. We see God at work in each other.
Just before I began writing this post, I glanced at Face Book and saw a request from Caring Hands Ministry. Caring Hands is a community ministry that provides practical help for those in need: food, clothing, medicine, emergency shelter… This post was requesting assistance for a homeless man who had broken his hip. Seems he was in the hospital for a short stay but then was released early due to COVID-caused bed shortages. Consequently, this faithful ministry was putting him up in a hotel for the duration of his recovery and helping him in every way they could. I read that someone had immediately offered a wheelchair and others were providing funds to pay for his housing. It was a beautiful example of people caring for people.
That Face Book post prompted me to consider some of the other giving opportunities I know about in my community. When I paused to pay attention, I realized that great things are happening.
Local people are currently providing temporary housing and meals for hurricane victims out of Louisiana. The Community Thrift Store and Mildred’s Thrift Store give every penny they make to alleviate needs. The food pantry continuously feeds hungry families. Family Promise serves homeless children and their families to help them back to sustainable independence. The churches of course give much too.
Another ministry I’ve recently learned about is The Cleveland Care Center/Pregnancy Resource Center. Their motto is “Affirm the Value of Every Life” through offering moms health care, ultrasounds, counseling, and mentoring plus classes on budgeting, job interviewing skills, and the Bible. Their thrift store, “Under the Son”, funnels all income back into the center for the moms.
I’m sure there are caring ministries in your community that you partner with. You don’t need prompts from me! But, then, sometimes we all need gentle reminders to climb out of our own personal little worlds and reach out to those around us. I certainly do.
One important note: We recognize uncountable needs and honestly wish we could help with every single one. Right? We can’t. There is only so much of us to go around! My suggestion is to simply identify the causes that we are passionate about, those ministries and people that Christ has placed on our hearts. Then help there. When we all do our parts, all parts will be covered.
Together we can make a huge difference in this crazy world – one person at a time. Get busy!
Hugs and blessings,
Dear Lord, the world in general seems to have lost its mind! Please help me to remember, however, that You have a plan and You have given me a unique part to play in it. You have blessed me with the assignment to care for Your people. Guide me to those You want me to touch in Your Holy Name. Amen.