Mother Hen

Jennifer Rees Larcombe, in her book "Journey into God's heart" describes living on her grandparent's farm and the big black mother chicken that protected her chicks in the hen house even when a weasel go in.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
-- Psalm 5:11-12

In several passages God depicts himself as a "hen." In this passage, as in Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34 Jesus likens himself to a mother hen or a nesting, brooding, mother bird. We westerners always think of a chicken, but the word is generic enough to refer to a mother eagle, a mother pheasant, or a mother bluebird.

The picture is of the mother hen with wide, safe wings outstretched for her young to run to her for protection and shelter in the time of storm or trouble.

There is a wonderful painting of a tempest on a rocky cliffed shore. The artist expresses the violence of the wind, the waves crashing, the dark storm clouds, driving rain, and the lightning. Everything in the picture is foreboding except for one small detail. In a small cleft in the rock face is a mother bird, face to the wind, with its wings extended over its chicks in the nest. They are safe and secure under his wings.

Jesus called to Jerusalem (his people) with tears in his eyes, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem… how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing." (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34)

Under His Wings

Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.


Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.


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