Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13 - A Sign

I've always dreamed of having backyard chickens. Fresh eggs, free manure for my veggies, and pets, all rolled into one cute package. Who wouldn't? It took some persuading to get my Beloved to agree, but in the end the poulet chalet came to our yard and soon after our first flock of hens.

When I spied this olde worlde tin sign at a market in Shipshewana, Indiana, I knew it was the perfect memento to bring home to my Aussie backyard. Light and easy to pack, it's smooth repatriation to the chook shed door gave the poulet chalet that certain, yesteryear feel. Especially, the undervalued price of eggs!

And while my intentions of marking and defining their domain with a cozy sign brought me some measure of delight, it seems the chickens themselves were not served in any way by my efforts. Some wintery days you would think the sign read;

'No eggs for you. We're taking the day off.'

No, these chickens don't rely on painted signs. They're driven by real ones. They hear the porch door slam, know I'm on my way with a bucket of scraps and jostle for prime feeding positions. They practically snap their own necks to fight for the odd worm I toss their way when I'm gardening. And when they see shadows lengthen over the apricot tree each evening, they soon make their way in single file up the ladder to their roosting post.

Some months back my sign fell off the hen house door, and got stashed behind the gardening tools. Rust blended with cobwebs and dirt to cover the words completely. It didn't make any difference to my girls. They kept on living as they always had. Scratching around for what they needed, and giving what they could in return.

Thankfully, like my little chickens, we are not defined by the labels people put on us. We can be who God designed us to be with complete freedom to listen to Him, and not the demands of those who think they know better.

As our calendar bring us nearer to Easter, I can't help catching a glimpse of the work of the Lord Jesus, when I keep watch over my little backyard flock. I am reminded, only the Creator has the right to place a value on us, and He's already done that.

We are priceless. Paid for by a ransom only His son could afford.

A SOLD sign I'm blessed and humbled to wear.