Posted on August 4, 2020 Unexpected Gifts

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 


Have you ever gotten an unexpected gift before? With it, it brings the feeling of excitement, joy, and love for the person or persons who got it for you. Covid 19 quarantine has been very difficult for me, as I know that it has been for many. Recently, I was given an unexpected gift that brought happiness in the midst of so much lament. 

This August will make four years since I moved from North Carolina to Pennsylvania for seminary.  For almost three years of this time, I have lived with a family that consists of a mother and two adult children. We are all very close and have been doing what we can during this time to support and care for one another.  

A few weeks ago, my Pennsylvania family called for a family meeting. As I walked into the room, my mind kept thinking, “We never have family meetings. What on earth is wrong?” As we all gathered in the room, the mother started talking to me first. She explained how she knows that Covid has been difficult for me because of the isolation, classes being online, and plans to visit my family in North Carolina being canceled. She continued to say that the three of them wanted to bring a little bit of the south to the north and hopefully to bring me some joy. She pointed to the corner of the room where I saw a white Styrofoam box. (See picture below. Yes, my cat was very intrigued about this “intruder” in her home.) 


For some people, they would have been very confused by this box. However, I knew what it was instantly. Growing up in North Carolina, my grandfather and I show chickens (Yes, you read that correctly- We show chickens). This little white Styrofoam box is a much smaller version of an incubator. My Pennsylvania family had found out that a company that rents incubators to schools in order to allow them to hatch chickens were now allowing families to do the same in hopes of bringing some cuteness and love to Covid 19 isolation.  

Over the next four days, I got to care for the eggs before they hatched. This included turning them twice per day, checking temperature, checking water levels, and, the best part, checking to see if the eggs were fertile with a flashlight. After they hatched, I got to have ten little chicks in my room for three days before we had to return them to the farm. 


This was definitely a product of God’s timing. My Pennsylvania family found out about this project and reserved a time to get the eggs during a time that coincided with a two-week period when I was in an intensive summer course. Even though I had a summer course, along with my other responsibilities, I would not change when we got the chicks for anything in the world. 

God has a time and place for everything that happens in our lives. Even during the midst of Covid 19, we may not understand His timing, but things happen when they are meant to be. I hope this post and the pictures below of the chicks playing outside, or on the school bus, or the one with the cats investigating brings you a smile. I also encourage you to find your chicks during Covid 19. 


What have been the unexpected gifts that have come out of this time of grief, sadness, and worry? Does it take the shape of a beautiful sunset or the perfect cup of coffee? Is it in the extra time you are getting to spend with your family? Is it in the time you get to spend talking with God? God’s time may not be our time, but it is the right time.