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I Couldn't Kill a Chicken

by Earl Taylor  
3/05/2010 / Devotionals

I left the Marine Corp, toughened up to tackle anything. After all, I was the Ex-Marine that nearly made it to Korea before the action was canceled. I returned to Thief River Falls, Minnesota and was soon married to the church pianist. Carol and I were soon off and ministering; I led the music and she played the piano.

I was so eager to minister to anyone who would listen; I took any job, any where. I traveled to St. Paul to lead music, only to return home with a gunny sack of three very lively chickens as part of my compensation. I was unsure of what to do with them, so I threw them outside the back door of our house.

We had another family living with us at the time; both of us were broke, and my friend Pete and his family were without a job. Carol woke up with the thought, "I have nothing to cook for supper."

"Dave, could you kill the chickens before you go?" Carol asked me. "I can't, I don't know how." Pete and I were off to look for work in Minneapolis. Carol ended up calling the post master to come and kill the chickens and she some how plucked them by herself.

"It wasn't that I didn't know how; it was that I just didn't want to kill something and then look at it on my plate that night."

I had been trained to be an expert marksman in the Marines. I had been trained to do hand to hand combat. I had been trained to march miles and miles to secure an outpost; but I couldn't kill a chicken.

Perhaps that is why I was assigned to a typewriter during my stay in the Marines; even my drill sergeants could see that I was way too tenderhearted to chase down the enemy and destroy.

I never regretted having a soft and tender heart; I found it to be my most consistent character trait; it served me well during my 50 years in the ministry.

but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Gal. 5:22

I am the Director of Vision and Design at Hidden Acres Christian Center ( in Central Iowa. I have an M.A. in English Education from Truman State. You may follow my writing at the website listed below.

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