My friend, Heidi, tells about her adventures in raising chickens this year…

“I can still see the sun shining, the ladies and their children casually chatting and playing in my backyard.  I can see myself standing by the chicken tractor with a friend, proudly sharing all of my beginner’s knowledge on chicken rearing.

And I can still hear the horror in my friend’s voice as she said something like, “WHAT IS THAT??!!”

Protruding out of one unfortunate hen’s vent was a bloodied mass of…insides.  The other hens, far from horrified about this turn of events, greedily began pecking at the jumping, clucking, bleeding chicken’s rear.

My frantic, “What do I do??!!” brought the attention of the other ladies, who, upon seeing the canibilism taking place before their very eyes, began gasping, “Oh my!” and “EW!!  Gross!” and “Are they eating her?!”

I had read enough to know that the wounded chicken would be eaten by the other chickens unless they were separated.  Chickens love chicken blood.  In fact, chickens love to eat just about anything – especially chicken.

So, I made a quick decision to lift up the chicken tractor (we didn’t make a door – something that was a nuisance the entire time we had chickens) and let the wounded one out…or let the other hens out.  I suppose I assumed they would be quite orderly about getting out of the cage – clucking sweet things like, “You first, poor dear,” and “Why thank you.  I do think I need to get out for awhile.”  Instead, quite the opposite was true.

They saw their chance at freedom and bolted through the narrow opening right toward the unsuspecting children.

Immediate panic set in as moms in a frenzied flurry gathered their children closer.  The children, on the other hand, thought the chickens were quite exciting and attempted to pick them up.  This produced more gasps of disgust, pulling of the children, and kicking at the hens – especially the one with blood oozing from its back side. (Read the rest here.)

Why do chickens do that??? Why do they peck at their wounded, rather than care for them? Even more disconcerting–why do Christians do that?

Before our pastor was in ministry, he helped to market contacts for chickens. (I know… I laughed at first, too. But it’s true.) The contacts were tinted red, making it impossible for the chickens to spot blood leaking from each other. Every chicken they saw was color washed in red. So they no longer attacked each other.

Christians should look at each other with red color wash, too. We shouldn’t be flagged into pecking and biting the instant we spot a brother who’s more interested in his jet ski than church, or a sister cheating on her husband. If our vision were tinted with Jesus’ blood, we would see very little contrast between others’ wayward hearts and our own.

Unless we want to be like Heidi’s chickens, we need to look at other Christians the way Jesus does– washed in his blood.

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