FROM MY BOOK ‘HOLD ONTO HIM’: The death of the chick

They were totally adorable in pink, green and blue.  An unexpected turn of events at the school fair.  Two begging girls each received two colour dye chicks  to take home.  We kept them in the canary cage.  It was fun to let them out on the grass for a short while each day.  I was at work when the call came two weeks later.  A slightly hysterical Granny was scarcely audible above the cries of the girls in the background.  I needed to come home urgently.  One chick had been injured and was on the brink of death and Granny did not know what to do.

I found them crying under the tree.  They had ‘constructed’ a boundary wall with bricks on the grass for the chicks to play in, to stop them from running away.  One of the bricks had fallen on top of one of the chicks, which was now half dead and definitely beyond rescue.  What do I do now?  I needed to put an end to this trauma and help the chick out of its suffering.  “Stay here!” I instructed.  I grabbed the chick and marched around the house out of sight of the children.  “O Lord, I have never killed anything before!”  Perhaps a mosquito and a few red ants, but those don’t count.  My Dad had always held his hand over my eyes until the sheep’s throat was cut, so that I would not see it dying.

I knew there was another brick next to the rubbish bin at the kitchen door.  In tears myself, I picked up the brick and smashed the chick out of its pain and misery.  I threw the evidence in the rubbish bin with the brick (murder weapon removed from the scene).  I went back to the girls, who tearfully demanded to know what I had done.  I sat down on the grass and took them both in my arms.  “The chick was suffering terribly, and I had to kill it to stop its suffering.  I am very sorry.  What happened to the chick was an accident.  Accidents happen in life,” I said.  It was then that I knew there would be other ‘accidents’ in their lives in the future, and I would not be there to ‘carry the accident away’ and deal with it on their behalf.  I would not be around to hold them in my arms, dry their tears and explain what had happened in carefully chosen words.  I could not protect them against the hurts that awaited them in life.

Reflection:  What accidents in your life are you mourning?

Psalm 147:3  “He heals the wounds of every shattered heart”.

My God, how I desire to save my daughters the pain of this accident of their beloved Daddy’s death.  No explanation in carefully chosen words can make it better.  I pray that You would heal the wounds of their shattered hearts.  We can only hold onto You.

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