"Stop what you are doing and come see this!"
My friend lives outside of town in the country. Vergie is the fun mom with the cool house that my kids always want to visit. She has wild peacocks, a garden, and a chicken coop.
"The chicks are hatching. You've got to come watch."
I did drop everything. I moved my dinner to the back burners and packed up the kids and drove out to her house.
Vergie ushered us over to the chicken coop and told us to listen. The baby chick and the mother were talking to each other. You could hear chirping coming from the egg and then the mother hen would answer. The more the mother hen clucked back, the more the baby pecked it's way out of the egg. Truly a marvel to witness!
This wasn't the first chick to hatch. My friend stirred the mother hen and she began flapping, revealing several recent hatchlings attached under her wings. They were literally encased in the downy feathers under the mother hen's wings as they grasped tightly with their claws.
The soft warm feather's provided the perfect temperature for the new hatchlings and protected them from intruders like snakes or coyotes. I couldn't help but remember one of my favorite verses.
He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
Psalm 91:4 ESV
My children still remember this day. It forever etched in their minds the truth of this verse and what God means when He says He hides us under His wings.
As we drove home I told them another story that I'd heard about a barn fire. The farmer walked through the charred ground afterwards surveying the damage. He came upon a mother hen that had died in the blaze. He wondered why the chicken hadn't escaped ahead of the flames. As he pushed it over, he heard chirping and several small hatchlings scattered.
The hen had stayed and given her life to protect the chicks that she had covered with her wings. What a picture of what Jesus did for us—He could not save us without dying for us on the cross.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high, I cannot attain it.
Psalm 139: 5,6 ESV
May you know His love and protection that is behind, before and over you.