Feathers and Fluff

It recently came to my attention that the chickens walking around on the yard of the house we moved into a few months ago… are actually ‘show’ chickens.

Apparently owning these chickens is a sign of wealth – showing that you can afford to buy meat and raise fluffy pets on the side.

It is ironic in so many ways, especially because it is the highlight of my one year old boy’s day when he gets to chase the ‘poor’ (as I used to see them) chickens around the yard while pointing his little finger and screaming “duck”, “duck”.

And the first thought that came to mind was how much I hope not to be like these chickens… especially as a Christian living in the middle of a Buddhist community. All feathers and fluff with not a lot of ‘meat on the bones’ – looking good on the outside to make some kind of pretentious statement.

I do not want to spend time showing off instead of showing up in a world where people are literally and physically dying of hunger – while I’m practically sitting on something that could be sustainable if used wisely. (Think egg.)

This also reminds me of one of my all time favorite quotes: “Remember, people will judge you by your actions not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg.” – Maya Angelou

Perhaps I’m uneducated but I have never heard of ‘show’ chickens in Africa… Everything I knew about chickens indicated that they were supposed to be useful and not even their waste need to go to waste since it can be sold as fertilizer.  I remember seeing people buy big bags of claws & beaks to use in soups and some other dishes. We jokingly referred to them as “walkie-talkies”.

This seems more in line with what I hope to be – not a dead chicken – but being ALL IN. Walking the walk and talking the talk so to speak.

However, in my search for being more than feathers and fluff – driven mostly by the fear of being superficial – I’m coming to the conclusion that there is a purpose for this too and maybe even the idea of ‘show’ chickens isn’t that outrageous.

Didn’t God create most birds for no other obvious purpose than to show the riches of His splendor and glory?

‘Feathers and fluff’ can be a cover up but it also plays the most important part in revealing our true identities.

And it might seem superficial but our insides will be empty without beauty, without fun and laughter, without the silver lining. Most of the time we also need the extra layer of protection; especially for those times we need to let hurtful words roll ‘like water of a duck’s back’.

Yes, we need to show up and be all in, feathers and fluff included.  

*This post was inspired by one of my favorite websites for women living overseas – Velvet Ashes and their theme of the week :”fluff”

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4 Comments

  1. Great analogy! I love how the chickens sent you into such deep thoughts. We should want to be of substance, yet it is good to remember the birds and other parts of nature that are created to show God’s riches and creativity.

  2. Dorette, thank you for linking up with Velvet Ashes! I hadn’t heard of show chickens either. Now I’ll be thinking of them today :). I’ve added you to my feedly reader and look forward to getting to know you through your blog!

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