The pecking order on a farm is a thing! Until you see it for yourself it doesn’t make sense. I live on a little farm. Well, it’s a large farm with a few farm animals on it. Our farm animal of choice for now are chickens. We eat their eggs and occasionally kill the chickens for meat. Because of this, our flocks rotate often. One of our newest flocks had a chicken we’ve affectionately named Josey. This new flock had about 11 in all. There are seven roosters and four hens. Because of the ratio, as you can imagine, Josey wanted to go rogue. She hopped into the adjoining chicken pen. If you know anything about chickens, you know you can’t put a new chick in with an existing flock. They won’t accept a newbie in the hen house! The pecking order is a real thing. We were about to see a terrible case of pecking order”itis”. I want to discuss the pecking order in the church.
Josey had been ganged up on! She obviously had been rejected. I wanted to share a picture but she just looked too rough! She was ragged! Such is chicken life but as I began to fume at how they had treated her, I was reminded there is a pecking order lots of times in life. Just like Josey, people are rejected all the time! I am reminded of scriptures we all know so well and yet so often the new chick in the group quickly knows her spot in the pecking order, even in the church….and she rarely ranks very high.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34
Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
I have a group of Godly girls who have become my posse! We lovingly call ourselves “the spice girls” aka “Spicy for Jesus”! When I saw Josey, I immediately had to text my spice girls. You see, Josey was being abused in one brood by the males then she jumped ship into an all female house and she didn’t fair any better there. It made me so mad I could spit. She reminded me of the woman at the well. She had had such a hard life and even came to draw water at a different time of day because of the stigma of her being “low” in the pecking order. Josey looked a-lot like the woman at the well in the moment. I’m telling you God will use anything to mature you. Today, He used Josey!
Josey represents lots of folks bruised and battered by life. “Josey” hides from the group. She’s not fighting anymore for a place at the water trough with everyone because she has no fight left . Do you know a “Josey”? Do you daily overlook a “Josey”? Are you a “Josey” in some way? I think we all can answer yes to each of those questions! We snatched little Josey up and put in a small animal cage all by herself so she could get a reprieve. When we finally got her isolated, she wouldn’t stop eating. She hadn’t eaten well in a while, that was apparent. My sweet friend said, “She probably isn’t getting to eat much. She is too “lowly” to have access.” Oh my goodness how this applies to those of us who have felt “low” in the pecking order. It is our job to love those who have found themselves low in this position. This is what Jesus does. He hung out with those “low” in the pecking order! He pursued them even! Praise God!!! One of my spice girls said, “If she could wash your feet with her feathers, she would”. We chuckled but oh how true that is! To be loved enough to be separated and nursed back to life when we have experienced alienation and abused by the “flock” or life in general.
This is what Jesus does!!
He sees our broken lives either from our own sin or the sin inflicted by others and He takes us under His wing and shelters us!! Even though Josey has been so abused we’ve chosen to give her the royal treatment just like God does us. I told the spice girls we have to name her! Text were flying left and right and someone said, “How bout Josephine? She’s kinda had the life of Joseph. He was mistreated by His kin and then moved to a “royal” position.” Just like this little chick! She was named Josey after Joseph! She won’t be facing the guillotine anytime soon! She truly has gone from a pauper to a princess. She’s been so bruised and battered. Often times just like we have been. I’ve been low on the pecking order and I’ve been the mean girl.
Today, God gave me a real life lesson (with feathers on) as to what it looks like to be rejected. I was blessed to see what care can do! It happens in the farm world and it happens in the church world too. Looking for and loving as Christ loves us keeps the pecking order in the hen house and out of God’s house.
We are called to love….
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