We were all a bit shocked, I guess you could say. We had taken the family to the annual fair not far from our home. There we enjoyed the day, taking in the sights and sounds of farm life on display. There were recipes to sample and beautiful flowers to smell. There was a pumpkin weighing over 2,000 pounds. There were trees, almost a century old that stood no more than eleven inches high. Carousels, classic cars and a motorcycle show added to the “ooh and ahh” factor. We were observing each display, pulled along by the children who would point up ahead saying, “Can we go on that?”
We weren’t expecting to be anything but awed by the peace that one finds when you are close to nature. But, venturing into the animal displays we found ourselves cringing. We had stopped first at the bird house, a big barn filled with exotic, brightly colored fowl and plenty of farm regulars like chickens and ducks. There was a hatchery filled with “just born” chicks, fluffy and yellow and so very cute. But as we watched the little peepers come out of their shells in the miracle of life and birth, we witnessed these cuddly little babies turn savage as they began to peck and pull at a just-born chicken, barely out of his safe shell. They descended like vultures, pecking away until the blood flowed and his little feet were badly damaged. The poor creature never had a chance.
Somewhat rattled, we made our way to the pig barn. I don’t usually think “cute” when considering pigs, but these little fellas were just babies and their snorty mannerisms were as precious as their pink skin and curly tails. Until feeding time. The ‘pack’ ostracized one poor piggy and attacked him until his face and ears were bloody and he sat sadly away from the trough while the victors swallowed the spoils.
Our third experience with the underside of pastoral peace, came at the beehive display. After watching these critters busily rushing about, I asked if the queen bee was in the glass case. With a little assistance from the bee expert on duty, we were able to find her in the swarm. Feeling rather unfamiliar with bees and their colony life, I then asked how the queen is chosen. Did they hold little bee elections? Was it ancestry? Heredity? The answer was par for the course that day. Apparently the most dominant candidate eats her rivals. Honey comes at a cost! At least there was no such bee-eating behavior going on at those moments we were there.
And, so it seems that our experience at the fair showed us just how unfair life can be. Maybe in your home environment, the peace that should be in place - isn’t. Maybe you feel pecked at or ostracized. Maybe you feel swallowed up by another’s claim as queen. (or king) Maybe you have been pecking, or biting, or shunning another person who just wants to feel welcomed to the dinner table in peace. After all, it’s only natural, right?
This is why we need the Supernatural in our life. We have a God who leads with humility and grace. He protects - not pecks. He invites and doesn’t bite. He has no rival. Not in my heart.