You know how everyone is always telling you to listen for God in the everyday? You know in the grandeur of a sunset, the promise of a sunrise, the awe of a storm, the gentle whisper after the rain? Well, the other day, I got yelled at by the chicken lady. She waved her arms and shook her stick at me as I maneuvered past her hundred chickens trying to cross the road.
I wasn’t driving fast, the chickens were just walking slow.
They say she is just squatting there, that she doesn’t really own the place, she is carving out a life off the grid from an abandoned trailer and an old camper, a dog on a chain and at least a hundred chickens. It must be like Easter every day come egg collecting time. She held off the wild fire this summer, and refused to leave her plot of earth. Brave, or desperate? I smile politely waving at her angry face and chuckling at the chicken jokes in my head when it hit me. God just yelled at me in the face of the chicken lady.
I have been on the run lately, finding it much easier to busy myself with stuff, and plans and doing, than to sit quietly in my sorrow and learn how to walk in the empty spaces. I took a deep breath and told myself the truth.
“You have lost both of your parents in a matter of months, you have permission to grieve. You can’t run from this.”
The tears came then as I felt the weight of their absence and the weight of my existence. The longing to share moments, and jokes, and how Dad would love the chicken lady. I could hear the Holy Spirit nudge me to re-examine the encounter. We are all just squatters here really. The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and this is not our home, not really. We may be brave and we may be desperate but we are all looking for the eternal city where The Lamb is the light. Mom and Dad are citizens finally. No longer wanderers in a world full of hardships, toil, and lack. It is my time to sojourn and leave the plots of earth better than the abandoned wrecks I found them. I am to make my space matter in the moments of Earth time I am given. Love carries on. Nothing else.
I am the squatter now, herding my chickens off the road so some clueless motorist doesn’t smack them with the front end of their vehicle while driving blindly past a lesson from God.