Chicken Dance

October 14, 2011 | 25 comments

I see it first, while driving down our country lane as the glowing sun spills light  over these golden-stubbled farmfields. It’s a lost hen, dancing a weary little circle over by the mailbox. She’s flown the coop and can’t find her way back home.

The girls tumble out of the car, drop their backpacks on the gravel driveway and try to catch a befuddled bird. I am of no help, still in my pajamas, and barefoot. All I can do is sit at the steering wheel and laugh.

Farmer Tim, the hen’s owner, drives by on his way to chores, but turns around on the highway when he sees that one of his hens is running around like a … well … like a chicken with its head cut off.

Farmer Tim pulls in, then walks an unhurried pace toward that frazzled hen, which has now waddled into weeds.  The farmer walks the unrushed pace of a man who knows exactly who is going to win this battle. He catches up to the lost hen, trapped against dense brush along the fence line.

The rescuer picks up that hen, tucks her in the crook of his arm.  

I nod my head and laugh. Yeah, I’ve done my own kind of Chicken Dance a time or twenty. I’ve flown the coop before, gotten all dazed and confused, unsure how to find my way home.

And I see it here, when that farmer walks up out of the ditch with his rescued bird in his arms. The best way to get home is maybe to let yourself get caught. The best way to really move forward is to stop in your tracks and let your Master carry you home.

I’m participating in GypsyMama’s Five-Minute Friday today. Before I took the girls down to the bus stosp at the end of the driveway this morning, I checked her word-prompt. It was this: Catch. 🙂 So you can imagine how amused I was when, a few minutes later, I watched the neighbor farmer trying to catch his lost chicken at the end of our driveway. I so wished that I had my camera along. The photo above was taken a few years ago over at their farm.

Care to join The Gypsy Mama? Write for five minutes on “catch.”  


by | October 14, 2011 | 25 comments


  1. Jennifer

    Love the message at the end.

  2. David Rupert

    I just stick my chest out, move my head back and forth, and pretend I know where I’m going

    • dukeslee

      LOL! I do that, too, David. 🙂

  3. Lyla Lindquist

    Now, wait a sec. You, behind the wheel in your jammies and no shoes… You can’t help wrangle the chicken.

    But, had you brought your camera along, you would have been in that ditch, tall grass between your toes, slapping the shutter over and back.

    Love you, I do.

    • dukeslee

      Laughing here…. Because I know what you say is true. It’s scary how well you know me.

      But really, it was a lot more fun watching everyone else do the dirty work.

  4. Doug Spurling

    Hi Jenn, long time…

    It amazes me the word and this event go together like chicken and noodle soup. Maybe our Lord is always longing to speak to us in ways as these if we’ll only stop running around like a chicken…

    Thank you for seeing, hearing sharing.

    • dukeslee

      Doug! I miss you. So glad to see you here again. You still writing?

      Thanks for stopping. I’ll pop over to your place and see if you’re still putting written words to your blessed life.

  5. Patty

    Haha…I can picture the whole thing! Love it. Love you. And always love your 5 minute Fridays.
    Have a blessed day, dear one!

  6. Nikki B

    I flew the coop 2 years ago, ran, clucking and squawking all around for 6 months of my life. I pecked at him and clawed, and kept running, basically telling him I knew what was best and I didn’t need him to do anything for me because he hadn’t been. He didn’t save me from the loss of my job, the darkness of depression, financial woes, I didn’t need him, and convinced myself he wasn’t around anyway, so I kept running. I was a very stubborn chicken, until the night he met me right where I stood; in my apartment in my little neighborhood, and all that changed, and I became a chicken who crossed the road back to him and I haven’t looked back. God is so good. Full of grace. For that I am forever greatful and thankful!

    • dukeslee

      Beautiful, beautiful words here Nikki. A great answer to the question of “why did the chicken cross the road,” eh? I love your heart, broken but made whole by Christ. ((HUGS))

  7. Kathy Schwanke

    Chuckling here (not clucking though)”a time or twenty”…yeah…

    Great writing Jennifer! I was right there staying in the car with you!

  8. Erin

    This made me cry today. I don’t know why. 🙂

  9. S. Etole

    “The farmer walks the unrushed pace of a man who knows exactly who is going to win this battle.”

    So thankful He does the rescuing and the winning.

  10. Glynn

    And here I thought the chicken dance was something you did in October to the music of a German oompah band.

    Good post, Jennifer. We’ve all done that chicken dance before, and will likely do it again.

  11. Linda

    Absolutely perfect Jennifer!

  12. Tay

    Spending time with God has always been a struggle for me. I’ve never been able to get into the habit of actually sitting down in the silence and praying.

    But, I’ve discovered a secret. Although spending time with God in the quiet and solitude is great and necessary, you can catch God in EVERY moment! It’s about catching those little God-moments here and there in your day. Some people don’t see God in their everyday, but I am slowly learning tender art of catching those moments of God’s goodness. That time when you see someone that you know needs prayer. That time you feel like you’re going to fail your math test and you send a little prayer up. That time you see the most beautiful sunset. That time when something works out that you didn’t think would. God is there in all those moments. You just have to catch it.

  13. Sandra Heska King

    I caught that message! Perfect. And I agree with Lyla. If you’d had your camera, nothing would have deterred you from that photo op.

    My sister and I were doing the chicken dance in mom’s hospital room tonight. Don’t ask.

  14. Jennifer@Adam's Rib

    God is so neat like that–putting forth a message to us in the everyday like your “catch” story here. Love it.

  15. Ruthie

    Cute story with a great message! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  16. Patricia

    I love the revelations he gives us when we are in pjs and barefoot. =) You made me start singing… Love to you, dear one!

    O to grace how great a debtor
    Daily I’m constrained to be!
    Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
    Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
    Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
    Prone to leave the God I love;
    Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
    Seal it for Thy courts above

  17. Diana Trautwein

    LOVE this, Jennifer. Thankful for a strong, sure Farmer on our lives.

  18. Claire (@claireburge)

    maybe it is time…

    yes. it is for me. thank you for the gentle nudge.

  19. David Lord

    I care for my sister’s chickens and I wish they would do that more often… wish I did that more often…

    Dave Lord

  20. Lori@myevidentfaith

    I found your blog a few days ago and put it on my home page. Little did I know your space would become a small uplifting respite from chaos. I’ve been reading past posts this morning and want to say thanks for the smiles and the tears. ~Lori


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