We have new pets. We now have 10 chickens who live out back. The first group arrived with much fanfare and very few problems. The second set held some surprises. One of the biggest surprises came in the form of a blue Americana chicken. She can fly. She can fly of out of the 6-foot fence around the chicken lot. She can also fly over the regular fence that surrounds our backyard. I did not know chickens can fly! What is especially surprising is that her wings had been clipped. Clipping the wings are supposed to render the chickens unable to fly. Some how she managed to fly anyway.
She did not run away. This was another surprise. She did not want to be out on her own. She wanted to be with the other chickens, but she could not figure out how to get back with her flock. So, she stood on the outside of the two fences, clucking. She could not figure out how to get back with the brood. Sometimes we are like that. We want to be included. We want to be a part of the group, but we just don’t know how. We see them, but we are unsure of how to get to them. So we cluck about wanting something but not quite sure how to get it.
At other times we may be the chickens in the brood. We hear the chicken on the outside, but we do not think we can do anything about it. How are we going to include that chicken? It is different. It flew out! It must not be like us. It must not want to be with us. We decide that the one on the outside is not our problem. She got herself out there, let her figure her way back!
We are smarter than a chicken. We are also called to have compassion for other people. We are called to notice those who are on the outside and help them find their way in, especially into a faith community. We are called to love others, even those who are different. Take time to notice those on the outside of your brood, your social circle, or your faith community. Are there others looking in? Are there others who should be invited to be a part? Are there others who are longing to be included, but they don’t know how?
Those who are on the outside looking in may have skills you never realized. They may even be able to fly. People and chicken can surprise you. It is up to you to determine how you respond to them both.