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Thursday, 5 April 2012

A goofy chicken

Don’s birthday today and I gave him a chicken. Not one you eat, nor one you need to feed.

It’s a terra cotta chicken underneath, with some sort of fired enamel face and body, wings and tail, coxcomb and whatever the red dangly bits are under the beak. 

And its eyes are crossed. 

Basically, it’s just a goofy chicken which will be stuck on a pole and planted in the garden, to surprise folks as they wander round looking at the weeds and occasional flowers.

Don would love to have chickens that actually cluck and scratch and lay eggs. But we’ve got two cats and a dog and I figure that’s about my limit. Real live chickens need looking after and every once in awhile they need to be culled. Could Don do that? No, and neither could I. 

So I think this is the perfect answer.

I wonder if God sometimes would have been wiser to have made terra cotta people with fired enamel bodies, who could decorate his creation without wrecking it. Who could bring a smile to his face without ever needing culling.

No. For a start, I think what brings the smiles to his face, if I’m not being too presumptuous here, is watching people live out their lives, making a living, growing relationships, raising children. His love is so enormous, so unconditional, that culling is just not in his vocabulary. 

Caring is. So when I think today, on Maundy Thursday, of Jesus sharing his last meal with his friends and demonstrating the sacrifice he was about to become by offering them the bread and wine as his body and blood, I am just floored by that unconditional love.  

And I think if I gave God a goofy terracotta chicken, he would smile, and then breathe life into it so that he could watch as it clucked, scratched and laid eggs.

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