Bird Lessons

birds on the ground surround a crab apple tree

The following post was written by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. I have been encouraging this friend to impart the wisdom and lessons of her life by turning them into written words and sharing them. But doing so is a scary thing that requires a certain vulnerability. Following is her first attempt. She’s given me permission to post this little reflection here. If it speaks to you, please take a moment to indicate that it does, by commenting, sharing, or liking this post. I promise to pass along every one of your encouragements to her. Perhaps together, we can convince her to write again.

It has been bitterly cold the last few days. 

In our yard, we have a crab apple tree that is old and gnarled. There are always some leftover crab apples that I step or slide on in warmer weather. Many times I have implored my husband to have it taken down. 

But maybe I am wrong about that, because this morning, as I stood at my kitchen window, I looked out on more than forty starlings and robins.

I never knew they hung around together, but here they are in the tree and on the ground, eating the apples with gusto. There is a feast here for them!

I stood and watched them for a long while, enthralled, with their attentiveness to this provision. I could not help but think about the references in the Bible to how God cares for birds.

I am reminded of Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

And Matthew 10:29: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of the Father.”

As I watch them they are oblivious to where the food comes from—I even wonder how they knew to find it here. But they are being satisfied and kept alive by what they did not sow or work for. God’s hand has brought them here and feeds them.

So often I stand at this same window and look out with anxious thoughts and worries. Worry about the pandemic and how long it will last, will I succumb somehow to this dreaded disease? I think about how long it has been since I last saw some of my family who live so far away and if and when I will be able to see them again. I think of financial needs, retirement, health struggles, friends who are going through troubles and tribulations, those who are suffering mentally, emotionally. Sometimes these thoughts and worries threaten to overtake me. But then I see and look at these birds—God’s creation. He cares for them so lovingly and generously, will He not also care for me? Doesn’t He promise to?

Looking out at them stills my heart, replaces my fear with faith and restores my confidence in the God who provides and who I want to love and trust.

These birds have almost stripped the tree and are now on the ground getting that last of the harvest … they do not know that I have a plan, that I will spread the ground with peanuts and continue to help them through the winter. 

Will not God also spread a feast and provide for my needs, the Word tells me I am so much more valuable than even these little birds?

6 thoughts on “Bird Lessons

  1. Thank you, writer-friend. Good for you, being brave enough to let your words be seen, which I know can be such a scary vulnerability. If you ever want to join a safe and supportive writers’ group via Zoom, let me know via Patricia–there is nothing like birds of a feather flocking together. Keep on writing anyway. God bless every word you send out into the world!

    Liked by 1 person

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