Redemption is a word that comes to mind when I think of my chicken coop. It is a word I would use for something or someone that has been so broken and spent that it seems that it could not be fixed. This totally describes what my chicken coop used to be.
Back in 2000 there was an acreage that was going to be razed and turned back into cropland. My husband and I saw that there was a sad looking little chicken coop sinking into the dirt next to a tree. We thought it looked like it had “potential” and looked like something that would have been on the show “Little House on the Prairie” We asked the owners if we could have it and were given permission. We borrowed a neighbors’ trailer and braced up the little building (and I use that term loosely after seeing the pictures once again) and somehow managed to get it on the trailer. We proudly took our “prize” home. Our sons took one look at it and thought we should put a match to it and have a bonfire complete with hot dogs and s’more fixings.
It sat in the back yard of an acreage we hoped to move to, for at least 6 years before we decided we should maybe do something with it. Unfortunately, like many things in life, it had not improved during this time or fixed itself. Our first step was to pour a pad of cement that it could be moved on to. My husband, the original do-it-yourselfer, hauled buckets and buckets of sand from down by the river to prepare a good surface for the cement.
The pad and the building sat next to each other for a couple more years. Never once did that building make even the tiniest move toward getting itself onto that cement…..big sigh. During this time we moved to this acreage. The day finally came that we decided to merge the two. It took a little ingenuity but we got the building moved and situated on the pad. The entire front kind of fell apart and so we began fixing. The bottom sills were totally rotted and gone and we had to reconstruct the entire bottom portion. By the time we got that done and the front constructed; winter had come again.
That next spring saw us take a road trip to Worthington, MN. At the farm store there they had chicks! By the time we left the store I had ordered 25 chicks that were to arrive at the end of April. That deadline kicked us into high gear on the fixing, painting, and outfitting the coop.
At one time my husband thought we should calculate the cost of restoration and see how many eggs those chickens would have to produce to make it pay. I really discouraged that idea!
My coop is a daily reminder to me that pretty much anything or anyone, no matter how broken, no matter how useless it looks, no matter how bad it looks can be fixed, restored, redeemed and made whole again. My little coop is not perfect but it definitely has character. It is a solid reminder to me every day of what it takes to fix that which is broken. For me it is a lesson on redemption and grace and the price of both.
For you have been bought with a price
1 Corinthians 6:20a