By Tom D Blakely
I don’t even like them, God knows.
Even ordinary chickens with heads scare me at times.
They never seem to know where they’re going
And they’re so easily scared and scattered;
So jerky and jumpy and nervous, with nodding heads
Permanently petrified as if there was always a fox nearby.
And the Lord knows I never got over a fear of them…
I remember… as a toddler locked in a hen house
Cackling cousins outside, horrible hens inside; inside with me!
Dung-stained rafters, fluttering, feathers, terrified squawking
I can hear them still…But God knew that; He knows all things.
Anyway, now I am outside… or at least that’s where the hen is.
Outside is good; where chickens should be… in an open yard
Not couped up amongst themselves; infighting!
But there is only one chicken now, and without a head?
Lord why me? Why this image? You know I hate hens…
Lord, I can see that it’s different… having no head
Yes, very strange, because… (I hesitate because I know this is a key question)
Okay, I know… because it’s strutting about fearlessly?
And… it isn’t dead… which is more than strange… it’s ridiculous!
How can it be alive without a head?
Maybe it just seems alive but it is really dead?
But which is it? Dead or alive? I don’t know, but daren’t ask.
In prayer, God’s rules apply; He replies His way.
It just keeps strutting around in circles… foolishly proud
Something tells me it has been like that for some time…
And for some reason I am very concerned about that
So I ask the Lord… who knows all things…
God doesn’t always answer me; but today He does:
The headless chicken has been strutting around this yard for years.
But years Lord… how can that be possible?
I know to wait patiently when there is no direct answer
Ask, persevere, patiently, reverently; that is His way.
Not unusually I feel the comfort of another question,
Jesus taught me this… in the gospel.
That is how we get to know God – through Christ; the only way.
So if we want to know what God is like, read the gospel.
If we are serious about being Christlike,
The gospel is the place to find out what Christ is like…
Obviously, but not naturally; By His Spirit.
God answers my questions with another question
Which, if I am responsive to the Spirit, contains the answer.
Things are serious now as God is very near.
The reason I know this is hard to describe…
But fear is a main factor and an awareness of my sin;
It’s as if I’m suddenly immersed in cleaning fluid
And all the dirt comes floating up to the surface.
God doesn’t need to ask me if I want my sins removed;
I know His will and I agree because I’m afraid not to.
Also because I don’t want His Spirit to leave me.
Even as a redeemed sinner it is easy to offend the Spirit;
So I gladly let go of all ‘sin and self’ in God’s presence.
Lord the vision, take it away! I am upset now… in tears.
The Holy Spirit speaks silently, to break me.
God will only meet on His terms; such is true prayer
Not as I once thought: a shopping list of ‘I wants’.
That is why He teaches me to begin with reverent worship.
And, that not my will, but His will be done
Because until I pass my ‘Gethsemane’ heaven is silent
And prayer is a one way monologue.
The comfortable question comes confirming it is the Lord.
Words can barely describe His presence:
Joy unspeakable? Indescribable? Heavenly?
Why would the Lord Jesus be interested in me?
The King of the kingdom, yet the One who died for me!
The suffering Servant, who still suffers me – Lord have mercy.
My room once more has become holy ground, and I am floored.
I feel so unclean, and frightened, but also safe and secure.
It is good to fear the Living God for then we fear nothing else.
Tears on the carpet; tears of penitence and joy.
A most annoying gruesome image confronts me and will not leave!
A headless chicken that has been strutting around a yard for years.
But years… Lord how can that be possible? – God speaks in silence:
Do you think it is a headless chicken? – Yes Lord that is what I see!
He tells me to look beyond what I can see; and asks what I think it is?
I think it is the church, but I dare not think that; but He already knows.
Lord surely you have not left the church? Lord I don’t understand?
He tells me to pay attention to the vision, to see more clearly.
I see an arrogant church; not like the church I once knew.
This church has no fear of the fox, which is Satan… she cannot see him!
She struts about in self confidence… and ignorance… and blindness…
She is a law unto herself, because she thinks she has a head, but has not.
Now I feel sick as I’m suddenly reminded – Christ is the head of the church!
Speechless I seek consolation…
‘To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.’