So now we’ve got a mangled, beakless, bottle-fed chicken on our hands. 


I was glad Dutch prayed. Of course I was. I was amazed that Grace survived. Truly amazed. But her broken beak eventually fell off, and now we’re going on 24 days bottle-feeding this chicken.

Do you read me? 24 days bottle-feeding a chicken.

I Google it, hopeful: Do chicken beaks regenerate? 

No. No they do not. 

2015-09-02 18.56.37

I start to panic. Are we going to be bottle-feeding this stupid precious chicken forever???

Again, you think I’m crazy. You think maybe the 24-days of bottle feeding the chicken has gone to my head and a few screws are loose. It’s possible. But I’ll tell you what, God knows I’m dense and I need illustrations to speak His Word to my heart and He asks me so clearly:

Will you love people even when they’re not getting better?

Will you love in the meantime? 

The day that I fast and pray, my friend sends me this sermon that tears me in two, and the Father speaks so clearly to my heart that I find myself on my face, wrecked. He asks me: Will you love people even when they’re not getting better?

Will you love in the meantime? 

Because oh I love to swoop in and love when there’s potential, right? When there’s hope for healing, for deliverance, for change. I can love when I see that breakthrough is just around the corner, when I have some reason to believe that maybe my little bit of love might be just enough to push them over the hump.

Is that loving people or loving seeing people change? 

It’s subtle, I get it. There’s nothing wrong with loving to see people change. That’s transformation. That’s growth. That’s part of the gospel.

But the crazy thing is God loves us even when we’re (seemingly) stuck.

The day after one girl leaves my life another one pops up again. It takes twenty seconds to see that everything’s the same. Same hang-ups. Same habits. Some hurts.

Same. Same. Same.

The beak is broken off and it won’t regenerate. Ok?

Will you love her in the meantime?

Because I’ll tell you what, it’s great to see potential, but even better to see people, and sometimes when I’m loving people I find myself looking right over their shoulder, to what’s ahead, to what I hope for, to what I want for them.

But then I miss looking in their eyes. 

I miss loving them right here. Where they are now.

And you know what happens when we do this?  When do this?

They sense the disappointment. Oh yes. It’s you again. And your beak is still broken, isn’t it? You’re not really any better are you? Ok then. And I begrudgingly grab the bottle, but my heart’s not there.

That night I flip open my most recent book on healing:

“While faith is a requisite for healing, both in the sick person and in the one praying for healing, the primary disposition needed by the minister of healing is love.”

The entire chapter, wouldn’t you know it, was on the healing power of embodying the love of God to those who are hurt, weak, sick … mangled.

If I have faith to move mountains but have not love …

greatest is love

Will you love in the meantime?

And so I take the bottle out back again to our beakless bird and smile at her while the goopy mush dribbles down her front. I pick up my phone and reach out to the unchanged one, and sit longer with the unhealed one, and let Him loose His love through me … in the meantime.

{Lord teach us to love in the meantime. Thanks for reading.}


  • Barbara Kennedy

    I am loving someone today who is hurting and broken. I may not be able to help circumstances. I will push on and be hope and love to her . This message encourages me to be her strength in Gods love . So this day is important .

    • Kari Patterson

      Yes, it IS important! And it’s amazing, because when we let go and simply love, it’s astounding how much healing (and yes, change!) happens. I guess we have to get out of the way and just love. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Barbara.

  • Rory Rodgers

    Lindsey told me I needed to read this, and boy was she right. This is a message for ME today, I need to be loved in the meantime 😉 ….no I need to be loving others in this rough season as I come face to face with them and there’s been no change. It certainly is what Jesus has done and continues to do for me. Praise God for the picture God has given you of Grace (the chicken and the love).Thanks Kari!

    • Kari Patterson

      Oh, thanks Rory! You do prob need to be loved in the meantime too. 😉 And yes, I know you are up to your neck in loving people! Our love wears thin so quickly ;( and His love never runs out. Thanks for encouraging me brother! The Lord BLESS you and energize you with His love for today, new mercies for this morning!

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