Once upon a time, two co-workers began to talk. Initially, the conversation consisted of the elements of work: students, teaching methods, procedures, and grading papers. However, at some point, their chats grew roots…roots that began seeping deeper into rich, nutritious soil. Within their flourishing relationship, they shared the joys and struggles of life, the challenges and exhilarations of children, the stabilities and uncertainties of marriage, the pursuit toward and the hiding from the in-breaking Kingdom of God. One day, they realized they were friends…not just the co-worker-type friends united by a common occupation with common duties, but dear friends united by life, common experiences, and a commitment to care for one another.
As their relationship blossomed, one friend invited the other friend into the life of her Jesus community. Instantly, she found more friends eager to walk with her down the pathways of confession, encouragement, sorrow, joy, and hope. Within the relationships of this new-found community, her connection, commitment, and crush for the Lord strengthened, matured, and overflowed into the lives of others…especially her children.
While learning, walking, and stretching her wings to fly with others, however, she also faced the harsher realities of life in the air. Although we long for and are designed to soar, sometimes, the rain beats down upon us and the wind knocks us off-kilter, and she was not immune to the perils of life. On the other hand, even in the midst of the trails, she realized time and time again that she was not flying alone. The pack…the family…flies together, soars together…through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. The family flies together.
And so, as questions, struggles, and despairs mounted, we learned, walked, and stretched our wings together. All the while, the little chicks were watching. The little chicks, safely sheltered by a nurturing nest so we thought, were taking their cues, hearing the stories, and even sharing in the lives of the family flying together. When we hurt, they hurt. When we laughed, they laughed. When we served, they served. When we wondered if the storms of life would overtake us, they wondered…and inadvertently, we even encouraged them to wonder…
One day, a little chick tweeted. Not the kind of tweet that you read on a computer or cell phone screen, but a chirp that would alter (and continue) the course of life. This little chick tweeted her desire to follow the Mother Hen, the Mother Hen who longs to gather Her little chicks under her wings to protect them in love…the Mother Hen who longs to send Her little chicks out from under her wings like sheep among wolves. In water, surrounded by the family and some fantastic barbecue, this little chick gave her life to the Mother Hen. The Wind blows. The chicks soar.
The little chick is not so little anymore. In fact, she’s a few years from being sent out of the nest for good. However, she hasn’t stopped taking her cues, hearing the stories, and even sharing in the lives of the family flying together, and now, it appears that the Wind has blown a flock of little chicks her way…little chicks learning, walking, and wanting to stretch their wings to fly. And so, the one who has received is now freely giving…giving of value, conversation, water, and food to the poor…and as she invites her classmates, neighbors, and relatives into life with the Mother Hen, she’s learning to hear Her voice and give her life away for her friends.
When and where will the wind blow? Who knows? Why seek to control something so beyond our imagination? We’re just awed by its presence, strength, and willingness to bring two co-workers together to talk.