An Inconvenient Egg

As I stood in the Costco checkout line staring at the orange slime dripping from my fingers, I struggled to figure out what the substance was.

At first I thought that I had somehow put the smoothie sample from the Vitamix demo man in my pocket.  No.  This was slimy.  Then it struck me that it was an egg.  There was an egg in my pocket.  And now it was oozing over my wallet and hand and sliding onto the floor as the Costco employee continued to scan my items.

I considered my options.  I could just walk away.  That would be the easiest thing to do.  But my daughter had gone back to the Vitamix demo man to see what other samples she could score.   She wouldn’t know where to find me if I just left.

I began to laugh as I said, “I have a mess here.”  I expected him to whip out a vomit cleanup kit or something, but he just stared blankly at me.  Silence.  “Um, do you have some paper towels?”

“What IS it?” he asked with a puzzled look.

“It’s an egg.”

“An egg?”  He eyed me suspiciously.

I didn’t consider until later that he might think that I had put a Costco egg in my pocket.  I mean doesn’t everyone put eggs in their pockets at home before they run errands and then accidentally break them at inconvenient moments?  No. No they don’t.  Especially not in “town”.  He might have thought I was a kleptomaniac who tried to steal a single egg from their store.  An egg thief.

As I hastily swiped at the mess with the Clorox wipes he gave me, I told him, “I’ll bet you’ve never seen that before.”

He laughed nervously, completed my checkout, and I left without incident.

Earlier that day after breakfast, I had done what I do every morning.

I put on my Muck boots – aptly named – and walked down the gravel drive, through the aisle of the barn, through two gates and into the horse pasture to let my chickens out for the day.  As I crossed the horses’ well-worn, muddy path, my boots made sucking sounds when I pulled them out of the calf-deep mixture of mud and horse manure.  There had been a lot of rain and snow lately and the pastures showed it.

The rooster crowed, and the hens clucked and paced by the gate of their run.  As soon as I opened the door they rushed out to see what new goodies they might find in the pasture, barn or compost pile.  With the chickens moving out, I went inside the coop to check for eggs.

I spied a hen, sitting comfortably in a nesting box.  Under her warm, soft feathers I felt an egg that was almost hot to the touch.  Fresh.  I love that.  I took it from the unconcerned hen and slid it into my pocket before making my way back to the house.

When the hens were laying more eggs, I was in the habit of bringing a basket with me to help carry them without dropping any.   But lately, as the hens are molting and the eggs are few, I have just been grabbing my jacket and heading out. As long as I am careful, I can slip an egg or two into my pockets without trouble.  When I got to the house I always took them out and put them away.  Always until today.

Today was more chaotic than normal with a kitchen renovation underway.

Contractors were in and out and appliances were everywhere except where they belonged in the kitchen. And it had just snowed so my daughter was out of school for the second day.  My routine was upset and I must have been distracted.  Several errands later, I believe the egg was still intact.  But shoving my wallet into that pocket was more than it could take.  The country part of my life finally came out in an oozing, conspicuous contrast with suburbia.

Isn’t that what we do everyday, though?  We put on lipstick and head out into public trying to look put together and hoping that those messy parts of life from home don’t show through too much.  Despite our best efforts, sometimes real life follows us and is out there for the world to see.  I am sure that at most times, there are bits of horse or chicken stuff on my person.  I go out into the pasture twice a day and I can’t help but be affected by it.  But I hope it’s at least not visible.

You can bet that there are worse bits of selfishness, vanity, and unkindness in my heart.

We try to hide that kind of stuff too, but the tough parts of life have a way of bringing them out into the light.  When it happens, it’s never neat or fun and it’s definitely not convenient.  But at least when they’re brought out into the open we can choose to acknowledge and deal with them.   We see them staring back at us because someone struck our last nerve or we feel that we have been treated unfairly and they flood out in a slimy mess.   But the real blessing is that then that we can admit that the sin in our hearts is a real problem.  We can ask God to help us clean it up.  And thankfully He’s a lot more effective than a dumbstruck checkout guy.


  1. I had forgotten the egg story, and am so glad I got to laugh about it again. And yes, God is so good and gracious to clean up the mess in our hearts.

  2. That was a funny story and well written. I think you handled it very well. I probably would’ve cracked up laughing or burst into tears. Life on the farm may be a bit messy at times but we just really love it! Thanks for sharing with us .
    Looking forward to reading your other blogs.

    1. Thanks for reading! Gina, you have been a great blessing to us and I’m glad you’re here. Speaking of messy, have you notice that two of the roosters are gone?

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