Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


Chicken Living Versus Freedom?

Ginger and her hen friends are tired of their fears and all the fences in their heads.

This weekend our family’s Friday movie night featured Chicken Run, an animated comedy directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park which tells the story of one group of cooped-up chickens and their relentless thirst for freedom from their soulless, money-grubbing overlords, the Tweedys.  The chickens’ ringleader is Ginger, an independent, no-nonsense hen constantly hatching (pun intended) often ludicrous plans for escape.

At one point in the movie, after numerous foiled attempts at freedom from the barbed wire boredom and merciless tedium of an existence devoted to nothing but the sheer production of eggs and more eggs, the hens begin to give up hope of ever escaping.  The following scene shows Ginger trying to rouse her friends from their despair.

Ginger: Think, everyone, think. What haven’t we tried yet?

Hen 1: We haven’t tried not trying to escape.

Hen 2: Hmm. That might work.

Ginger: What about Edwina?  [Edwina was axed after failing to produce eggs.] How many more empty nests will it take?

Hen 3: It wouldn’t be empty if she’d spent more time laying,

Hen 4: And less time escaping.

Ginger: So, laying eggs all your life, then getting plucked and roasted is good enough for you?

Hen: It’s a living.

Ginger: The problem is the fences aren’t just round the farm, they’re up here in your heads.  There is a better place out there.  Somewhere beyond that hill.  It has wide-open spaces and lots of trees. And grass. Can you imagine that?  Cool, green grass.

Hens: Who feeds us?

Ginger: We feed ourselves.

Hens: Where’s the farm?

Ginger: There is no farm.

Hens: Where does the farmer live?

Ginger: There is no farmer.

Hens: Is he on holiday?

Ginger: He isn’t anywhere. Don’t you get it?  There’s no egg count, no farmers, no dogs and coops and keys, and no fences!…Freedo-o-o-om!

If an unquenchable thirst for freedom is part of what it means to be human, we’re also very much chickens about it.  It’s easy to settle for just making a living, “working 9 to 5″ (as the old Dolly Parton song goes) and becoming personality-less cogs in a great, big, capitalist wheel.  In a world in which production, efficiency and materialism run the show much like the Tweedys, we can quickly lose our imaginations.  We can stop believing that the world beyond our coop is anything better or different or more life-giving.  We can become afraid to dream of a world in which God is all in all.  In which there are green pastures and still waters and a Good Shepherd whose rod leads us into perfect freedom.

Ginger’s diagnosis holds true for us, too: the problem is the fences aren’t just round the farm, they’re up here in your heads.  We’ve lost our imaginations.  We’ve lost our capacity to believe that there is a better place out there, somewhere beyond that hill, with wide-open spaces and lots of trees and grass.

Truman Capote once wrote that “love, having no geography, knows no bounds.”

Maybe the beginning of true freedom really is little more than learning to be loved by our Maker.

 

 



Previous Posts

The Lie of Invulnerability
This last week has been insane. Family sickness, repairs, car issues, multiple calls from school nurses, including one in which the nurse expressed concern my 7-year-old son had been bitten by a brown recluse spider...and just when I thought it couldn't get worse...viral pinkeye. Two puffy, leaky, r

posted 11:00:49am Sep. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Humor Relief for Religious Extremism
Once again, humor and satire are coming to my aid this morning, this time in response to the twisted and evil extensions of religion that seeks to coerce and control with violence and worldly forms of power (best embodied these days in the form of ISIS and its affiliates). The Palestinian televis

posted 10:36:57am Sep. 03, 2014 | read full post »

"AA" Recovery Groups—Spirituality for the Non-Religious, Hope for the Church?
[caption id="attachment_5326" align="alignleft" width="271"] Bill Wilson co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous with Dr. Bob Smith in 1935. Their affectionately called "Big Book" is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold more than 30 million copies since its publication. (Photo credit: Haze

posted 11:27:26am Sep. 02, 2014 | read full post »

Thoughtful Christians—They're Around, Via Fare Forward
The cover story from the latest (July/August) issue of Christianity Today offers a refreshing antidote to all the gloom and doom that often accom

posted 2:39:15am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

New Job, New Book
You may have noticed that I've not shown up at this intersection during the last week or so.  A new job, and, with the new job, the promise of a new book projec

posted 2:49:05am Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.