Under His Wings

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“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” —Matthew 23:37, NKJV

In my neighborhood, as in other places on our small Caribbean Island, we have been overrun and overwhelmed by our feathered friends.

Their penchant for early rising is announced by the roosters’ crowing that awakes us at unsociable hours of the morning. In addition to interrupting our sleep, the hens parade their broods of chicks on our streets and through our neighborhoods, scattering the raked leaves waiting to be bagged. In scratching for insects, they uproot plants, and they are a great nuisance. I am a victim of the feathered community, which forces me to chase them when they trespass. Consequently, there is a daily conflict between the fowls and me.

One day, as I was fertilizing my copious plants, I heard a cheep, cheep.

I looked up and saw a mother hen with a baby chick rummaging in the middle of the leaves I had raked into a heap only that morning. I was livid.

I dropped my watering can and started chasing them.

In fear, the mother hen flew over my hedge, crossed the street, and edged her way through a hole in the fence on my neighbor’s abandoned property.

Unfortunately, the little chick could not find an escape route, so she kept running back and forth. Mother hen, however, in the security of the abandoned property, kept running along the periphery of that property, clucking her concerns for her chick.

After a few minutes, the baby chick wedged her way through an opening in the hedge and was reunited with her mother. Instantly, the sound of the clucking changed from one of concern to one of caring. I thought of Jesus’ words as He invoked the analogy of the hen and her chicks. I heard His pleading voice, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37, NKJV).

Contrary to the rebellious residents of Jerusalem, both my mother hen and her chick were willing, and they found a way to be reunited. I pray we will show our willingness by accepting our Savior’s invitation. May we all be reunited with Him, under His wings, where safety and protection can be found.

Valerie Knowles Combie

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