by Carol J. Adams
God of all feathered beings,
Thank you for birds.
Thank you for their early morning songs.
I, too, lift a song to heaven when morning breaks.
This song of praise.
For redwing blackbirds.
For robins bathing outside the window.
For peacocks and cassowarys
For the ostrich and the egret
For the loon and the petrel
For the pelican and seagull.
Have You not gathered us the way a mother hen gathers her chicks?
I pray for chickens who can’t gather their chicks.
Who live in cages the size of an innocent man’s cell.
Great God, the largest space they will know is the oven.
How can we treat Your feathered world so cruelly?
And Great God, how can baby chicks be thrown away?
The morning song of a bird announces a newly dawning day, fresh, with new life.
Great God, give us fresh spirits.
Can we gather the baby chicks under our wings as we celebrate Your creation?
Your feathered beings,
The woodpecker and the heron and the pigeon
And yes, the chicken.
God, You know my imperfections.
I ignore the baby chick within.
All that is fresh and new, and desires growth,
Sometimes I ignore it or fight it.
I am sometimes too fragile to allow the new within to survive.
Create within me the ability to greet each day like Your birds.
And to care for animals as You would, God,
You who would gather us all within
From Prayers for Animals (2004).