“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 40:15 NIV
There’s nothing as fierce as a little Bantie hen protecting her chicks. Once a new mom even kept pace as my roaring lawn mower circled her pen, a mini-tornado squawking death threats, her tiny chicks huddled behind her.
My Blue Bantam rooster was strong and blustery, and I didn’t have another empty pen. “No sweat,” another chicken person said. “If you leave him in with the hen while she’s setting, he won’t bother the babies.”
OK—but to cut my losses, I only left three eggs under the hen. Sure enough, when they hatched Papa Blue scratched and clucked beside Mom to show the babies their food, then stood guard as Mom tucked them under her wings for a warm nap.
Soon the chicks were well-feathered and about ¼ the size of their mother. I went out at dusk to see if they were sleeping on the roost yet. My flashlight caught sleepy deer-in-the-headlights looks from Mom and one baby beside her. I slid the beam down to see if she had left the others alone. Nothing. Slid the beam up. Papa Blue blinked back at me from the shelf, a chick under each widespread wing.
Next day I tossed in some crickets, a first for the chicks. Mama jumped. “It’s every chicken for herself!”
Papa Blue patiently scratched and clucked, lifting and dropping squirming crickets to show his frightened children that this moving food was safe. Finally one of the timid chicks edged forward and took the bug from his beak. Just then Mom looked up, saw the dangling cricket, body-slammed her daughter and fled with the prize. Papa just scratched up another bug for the chick.
Did the little bird-brain forget her own baby? More likely, she just didn’t consider it a baby anymore. But to Papa Blue, once his kid, always his kid.
And to God, we are forever His priceless children, forever loved, forever protected and provided for, no matter whether our human parents valued us or not.
Avi, I can walk through this life with reckless confidence, sure in the knowledge that You’ve always got my back. Thank You for being a strong Father to me. In Your holy name, Amen.