Chickens Love Chili Cucumbers
Chickens Love Chili Cucumbers
By Lynn Wallace
"He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace" (Proverbs 11:12, KJV).
Once the neighbor's chickens almost sowed trouble for us.
It happened this way: One day our landlord said, "Why don't you plant a garden?" As we wanted a garden, we prepared a plot for our garden.
Lacking a rototiller, my husband used a shovel to spade up the ground for a garden. He shoveled up a large plot as we desired many kinds of plants in our garden. We sowed watermelons, carrots, green peppers, radishes, lettuce, and many other seeds.
Rabbits ate the lettuce and spinach. We boxed in our green peppers and saved them. The root vegetables and watermelons sprouted lovely leaves.
Because we hankered for cucumbers, we planted cucumbers.
These cucumbers grew into nice juicy cucumbers. How good they tasted!
Alas! The neighbors' chickens noticed how succulent those cucumbers were. Now our trouble started.
We were tempted to tell our neighbors, “What a nice chicken pie we'll have if you don't keep those chickens out of these cucumbers.” Oh how appealing this idea!
We also thought about not speaking to them. This will surely give them the hint, we contemplated. Bitterness threatened to crop up in our hearts. However, the reminder came to us that getting even or bitter is the way of fools—a sin. In Proverbs 14:21 God says, “He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth (KJV).” We decided not to sin against our neighbor in this way. This way cuts off our fellowship with our Lord.
A plan took shape in our minds to preserve our cucumbers and peace with the neighbors. We sprinkled the cucumbers with chili powder in an effort to make them unpatable to chickens. What a delicious flavor! these chickens apparently thought. The chili-spiced cucumbers disappeared faster than the others.
Failing to come up with another plan, we gave up this battle and our cucumbers. The chickens ate them up.
We could have gripped and complained, but this builds walls between people and their neighbors.The Bible says, “He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace” (Prov. 11:12). We decided to hold our peace. Because of our silence Carolyn never knew the plight of our cucumbers.
A secret grudge in our hearts charged too high a price to be worth it. We wanted to continue enjoying our walk with God. I still count Carolyn a friend.
Oh Lord, help me be a good neighbor when chickens gobble my cucumbers. Help me hold my peace and not despise my neighbor in my heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Bio: Lynn plays the piano for Canyon View Baptist Church in Montrose, Colorado. Her late husband and she served as missionaries to the Navajo Indian. Ambassador-Emerald published her first book, Our Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs for Women. Learn how to stay calm through PayPal from her website: www.writingfrommyheart.com.
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This is a great devotion. It made me smile and painted some great pictures in my head. The one thing you may want to look at it how often you repeat words in such a short space. You can fix this by restructuring some of your sentences. Take this for example: It happened this way: One day our landlord said, "Why don't you plant a garden?" As we wanted a garden, we prepared a plot for our garden. First, you don't need the it happened this way sentence since you tell the reader how it happened. Instead,just start out with something like this: One day our landlord suggested we start a garden. This sound like a great idea so we went out and began to prepare the plot for seeding. By doing it this why, it also tightens up the sentences. Many devotion magazines or books want pieces that are 250 to 300 words. I noticed you had used the word gripped but I think you meant griped. This may seem a little nitpicky but this sentence: Now our trouble started. but you are describing something in the past so the word now doesn't fit. You can try something like That's when the trouble started. Or you could combine the two sentences into something like this: The trouble started when the neighbor's chickens noticed how succulent the cucumbers tasted. Overall, I think this is a great piece. I could so totally relate. I think everyone who has a neighbor understands how hard it is to straddle that fence. I also really liked how you started with a real-life story and then seamlessly wove the Scriptures into your message. You picked a great verse to fit into your devotion. My favorite part is the prayer. Not everyone knows how to pray and your words get right to the heart of the matter. With just a bit of polishing, I could see you submitting this to The Upper Room. If you check out their website, they have writing guidelines and details about how to submit your piece. I know they get thousands of devotions each year, but it never hurts to try and submit it and see what happens. I wish you the best of luck. I can feel your passion in your words and think you do have a natural talent.
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