What Food Is For

Soul. Body. Soul

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Writer’s Envy and Chicken Dignity

To all you wonderful bloggers who can just sit down and make digital literary magic happen in a matter of minutes or hours – I salute you. I have been laboring over a longish piece on the connections between teaching my kids how to eat and teaching them how to read Scripture for close to a week and it’s still only two-thirds done.

At least one reason for my struggle is due to how often lately I’ve encountered writing that is better than my own by innumerable orders of magnitude. Many times, I’ve had a Shakespearean moment of sinful envy at how well some people can write, and how quickly. But then, occasionally, the writing is so good and topic is so close to my heart, that I all I can think is that I’m thankful they serve God and us with their gifts in talking about the important things of life so well.

The latest case in point in Joe Carter’s latest piece on the dignity of chickens.

I’ll wait while you snicker. Not too long ago, I might have as well. But one day last year I came home to find my husband reading an old animal husbandry book he found in a second hand bookstore, which shortly thereafter lead to he and my oldest daughter spending a weekend together building a chicken coop, and then shortly thereafter that the adoption of six baby chicks. Our first foray into urban chicken farming has been remarkably similar to our early years of parenting – lots of work on our part keeping the little darlings fed and healthy and the heck out of my heirloom tomato plants, and notsomuch with the work from them, except for constant eating and pooping. So. Much. Pooping.

Today, though, our five chickens (yes, the math is right, one needed to go the way of all chickens for reasons I’ll tell you another day) bless us regularly with beautiful, heavy brown eggs with dark yolks that practically glow. Beyond that, the lessons our families have learned about caring for the creatures who feed us have been life altering.  Feeding and watering them, watching their habits, learning to our delight that they have individual personalities, have given us a new window into the way God’s creation gives us food, and how He wants us to steward it, that I didn’t expect.

So go ahead and laugh to yourself about the idea of chicken dignity being a thing, let alone a thing worth writing about, let alone a thing worth writing in a way that I promise will put some gentle pressure on your tear ducts. Go ahead. Then read the piece. Then watch the video.

Then come back here and let me know if I wasn’t right, both about what Joe wrote, and how compellingly he wrote it.