Since Easter is tomorrow, I thought it’d be fun to share this true story, which happens to involve a chicken and eggs!
My dad’s family knew this man named Mr. Brownhall, who had spent time at their church and spoke there several times. He was British and had one of those fun British accents, even though he’d been living in America most of his life. Brownhall had lived through one of the most difficult times America has ever faced; and like many at that time, he was poorer than dirt and just struggling to survive. He told my dad’s family stories of his life back then, and I wanted to share one of them with you.
It was during the Great Depression, and Mr. Brownhall was struggling to make a living at his job, which was in evangelism, struggling to the point where he and his wife could only live off of whatever people gave them to eat. The Great Depression was a miserable time. To give you an idea of what it was like back then, here is a quote from this History.com article:
By 1930, 4 million Americans looking for work could not find it; that number rose to 6 million in 1931. Meanwhile, the country’s industrial production had dropped by half. Bread lines, soup kitchens and rising numbers of homeless people became more and more common in America’s towns and cities. Farmers (who had been struggling with their own economic depression for much of the 1920s due to drought and falling food prices) couldn’t afford to harvest their crops, and were forced to leave them rotting in the fields while people elsewhere starved.
Many became malnourished and died, and it was during this time that Brownhall’s wife fell ill. Her health declined to the point where she had to go see the doctor (despite how costly that must have been). The doctor said she was severely lacking nutrition and protein, and that’s why her body wasn’t recovering from the illness; if she didn’t start eating better soon, she would get worse and worse until her body gave out and she died.
Brownhall knew they barely had any money at all for food, but still he asked, “What should I give her to eat that will help?”
“One egg every morning for several months,” the doctor said. Lots of protein and nutrition is contained inside eggs, making it one of the best things that a poor person can eat.
Now Brownhall was thinking to himself: “An egg? Where am I going to get an egg? We don’t have chickens, and none of our friends do either.” And they certainly couldn’t afford to buy them.
But instead of despairing, he knelt down with his wife and prayed that somehow God would provide, because they certainly could not provide for themselves. And so that day and night went by, and then morning came. Brownhall looked out the window as the sun rose and saw something moving in the grass. With a start, he realized it was a chicken. It had wandered off from a farm not far away, and as he stood there watching this chicken, it sat down, stayed that way for a while, then got up and wandered away until he could no longer see it. He went outside, and saw that it had laid an egg.
Thrilled and amazed, he of course brought the egg in for his wife to have breakfast. They were very thankful, but what now? She needed an egg every day for months to gain back her strength.
The next morning dawned, and to Brownhall’s surprise, the chicken returned and once again laid an egg.
And it didn’t stop. The chicken returned and laid an egg every morning for three months until Brownhall’s wife regained her strength. After that, the chicken never came back. But this miracle remained in the Brownhalls’ memory, and they shared the story everywhere they went.
Isn’t that great? Now every time I see an egg I’m going to be thinking of this. Have a Happy Easter Sunday, friends! 🙂
P.S. I shared a poem over on The Tales of a Modern Bard’s blog this week! You can read it HERE.
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