Friday, May 10, 2013

A Father With a Mother's Heart

Thanks to Morgan Hildebrand for allowing me to use her chick photos from Priority Ranch, Stafford, KS. Check out her blog, Priority Ranch and see more photos of the chickens and other animals they raise on their farm.

... How often I have longed to gather 
your children together,
 as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings ...
Matthew 23: 37

The animal kingdom at our farm doesn't include hens and chicks. But as I read those words from Matthew 23, I think back to my grandparents' farm. Each spring, they would purchase baby chicks and put them under heat lamps in the brooder house until they grew big enough to survive without the extra pampering. When I was a child, I loved seeing those little balls of yellow fluff huddled together. I loved touching their downy feathers. They weren't nearly as cute when they grew up to be hens, and we had to move them out of the way to get to the eggs in the hen house.
Photo by Morgan Hildebrand, Priority Ranch
But even as I remember the pecking and racket of the hen house, I think about it a little differently now as a mother and grandmother - and I as read the words from Matthew. 

While most often we hear about "God the Father," the Matthew 23 verse gives us that maternal essence of God.
The birthing process is God’s idea. He’s maternally given birth to the universe, birth to our planet, and birth to us. Most importantly He’s given us re-birth. Simply stated, He is Father God with a mother’s heart. Waiting to wipe every tear; sitting up with us through the night; and listening to our troubles—solving them while we are yet speaking. 
Christian Author Susan Watkins
Each year, I am mystified by motherhood as we work with our cow/calf herd on our South Central Kansas farm. When we move the cow/calf pairs to different corrals or pastures, we separate the mamas and their babies to keep the babies (and the humans) safe.

The mamas don't realize we are doing it for a purpose. They protest - LOUDLY - when they are on one side of a fence ... and their babies are on another.

They bellow at the barn because they know their babies went that direction on the way to the trailer. Then they move the protest to the fence and watch as the trailer leaves them behind.
It's always amazing to me when it's time for the mamas and babies to reunite. The babies barrel out of the trailer in search of their mamas. 
It doesn't take long before the "lost" is again found by each mama and welcomed home for a nuzzle and a snack.
And isn't that how God seeks us? Our Heavenly Father has a mother's heart.

He seeks us when we're lost. (Luke 15: 3-6). He numbers the hairs on our heads (Luke 12: 6-8). He rejoices over us. His thoughts about us outnumber the grains of sand (Psalm 139). Isn't that just like a mother?

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom ...
Me and my mom, 1957
and to my daughter. She did the important job of making me a grandma.
It's a pretty wonderful job description! I think there's a little Grandma in our Father God, too!
Kinley & me at the Topeka Zoo - April 2013
Since 1988, I've shared Mother's Day weekend with Brent's birthday. Happy Birthday today to Brent! He's celebrating today by working a Morehead State University baseball game. As far as I know, there won't be any Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle-inspired cakes in the press box. But he did get homemade Chex mix in the mail from me.
Be sure and check out Morgan Hildebrand's blog, Priority Ranch. Again, I thank her for allowing me to use her chick photos. We have our share of cattle and cats here on our farm, but you'll want to see the menagerie of animals that live at Priority Ranch and the people who care for them. Click on the link to "visit."
This is a version of my Food for Thought blog on the Lovely Branches Ministries website, where the theme this month is "The Mystery of Motherhood." My friend, Suzanne, talks about the power of a positive Mom on her blog, Heart and Home Matters.  

If you're anywhere near Stafford, you'll want to visit the Taste and See Coffee House, also a ministry of Lovely Branches. Click on the link for hours of operation.  


  1. Love the chick pictures. We've been enjoying the ducklings on the pond in our neighborhood & seeing how the mothers work together to care for the babies.
    I know what you mean about sharing Mother's Day weekend. I've shared it with Mom & my grandmothers since my birthday is today. Since we had children I've added sharing it with both of our daughters (1st & 8th) as well as adding that fantastic title of grandmother. It doesn't get any better than that.
    I thank God every day for the blessings of mothers, children, & grandchildren of all sorts.

    1. Happy, Happy Birthday! There are a bunch of church-related birthdays today (I think 5!), and you are another to add to the list. I sat by your mom at a meeting at church Wednesday night. We talked books and reading. Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for being a faithful reader and commenter.

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