Dusk settled softly around us, as my husband, daughters and I approached the hen coop. Zulilly had been in her courtyard with the two hatchlings, Phoenix and Plum, all day. Now, she was nestled in the soft hay of the nest box in the coop my daughter had made for her. The babies were hidden beneath her feathers.
Two days before, when we knew Zulilly’s third egg would not hatch, we had hurried to the farm store to acquire four baby chicks, with the hope she would adopt them into her family. Now, we stood, with the box of babies in hand, ready to slip them in with the new mama. The sound of their cheeps carried through the box. They sounded cold and afraid.
Having grown up on a farm with many chickens, I knew that sometimes, a mother hen would accept orphan chicks, and sometimes not. Occassionaly, hens became so protective of their offspring, they would peck other babies away without mercy.
Olivia carefully set each new chick into the nest box. I stood, ready to intervene, if necessary. We watched intently as the scene unfolded.
The fluffy yellow chicks, so different from Zulilly’s own, continued cheeping pitifully. They pressed their tiny bodies against the sides of the nest box. Having had only a heat lamp for a mama, they didn’t know what to do.
Zulilly stretched out her neck towards the nearest chick. Quickly, she nudged it under her feathers. Without hesitation, she carefully guided the other three to her feathery breast. One by one, they burrowed beneath her. Their frightened cheeps quickly subsided into the warmth of contentment. Zulilly fluffed and clucked, welcoming the new babies home.
We watched her proudly. This beautiful little hen had far exceeded our expectations for mothering potential. Because of her pecky nature, she had not been our first choice of hens to set. However, she had clearly proved her merit, demonstrating a new nature that was compassionate and mericful.
The next morning, it was clear that not only had Zulilly adopted the new chicks, but they too, had adopted her.
If you have accepted Jesus as Savior, then you’ve been adopted into God’s family and can take refuge beneath the warmth of His wings. They are strong and mighty wings that have room for many.
God, the Father, who by His very nature is the definition of compassion and mercy, made this possible through Jesus, the Son. Born into a family of God’s chosen people, the Jews, Jesus wove a mystery, spoken to Abraham and explained by the teachings of Paul:
“The mystery was revealed and came back full circle to the promise God made to Abraham, that through him, and because of his obedience to God, all nations would be blessed.”
– Ephesians 1:3-10 (NIV)
(Read the backstory to God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis, Chapter 22)
The mystery and blessing Paul spoke of was that salvation would be available to all people, Jew AND Gentile, through Jesus Christ. The tiny, three letter word ALL became global in its significance. Jesus, who is the Way, has made His way into the hearts of people of every race, ethnic group and nationality.
A world of people, orphaned by sin, are loved by a merciful God and invited into His family through His compassionate Son.
Is there someone you know who needs to feel loved, included and cared for, especially during the holiday season, when lack of family becomes painfully acute?
Our world is hurting and splintered. Political reform and societal change is not enough. It will never be enough. Only true adoption into God’s family, through Jesus Christ, will create changes in nature and heart.
God’s wings have sheltered and comforted me so much. I’m praying that God will put people in my path who need to be nudged into His family, so that I can show them the Way. I challenge you to do the same. May God open our eyes to an orphaned world!