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  • Jeanette Vermilya

Bird Watching

“Look at the birds…” is an instruction of Jesus in Matt. 6:26. This verse and accompanying verses teach us to let go of worry – a lesson learned and re-learned.


It is definitely bird season here in Indiana. “Look at those birds!” has been exclaimed frequently this Spring at Shunem House. As I look at them, I realize they do have a hard go of it in life. They transition every season and have to find a place to nest. Flying from place to place to find an ideal spot to lay eggs has to be exhausting. And, flying against the elements, stopping on tree branches to rest, then swooping to the ground to pull out a worm for survival – what a life! If only fruit trees were ready. A juicy cherry find or random crumbs to “top off” the main course would be a “perk” worth flying for, however. It’s refreshing to watch them strut off with their tummies full, find a puddle drink, then soar to a restful tree branch.


I find it a bit encouraging that birds, like humans, are not perfect either and we can identify with them more that we think. They don’t always find life “smooth flying.” This reminds me of our current repair the deck project. There are delays, hurdles to jump and bumpy places in its process. Speaking of bumps, there are some birds that fly from a tree and slam into two windows downstairs and one upstairs. Over and over, their small bodies hit the windows with a thud and fluttering. Injury seems certain. They just don’t get it!


Another time, as I am opening the front door to exit, a bird flies out of the decorative wreath on the door! When did she build that nest? From there, it seems the little “squatters” find their way to a large hanging fern or pot of blooming petunias. There, smack dab in the middle, Mrs. Bird sets up housekeeping.


One cunning little mother bird found her birthing spot in a mysterious vent behind the bed in a guest room. Yes, the guest had to find another room. This determined mother was evidently on a mission to find top of the line best accommodations for her babies. Remember the mother of James and John? She wanted nothing but the best for her sons too. To find the snug little room, Lady Bird had to fly high to an eave where there was a vent close to the roof. Upon entering the vent, she went directly south several feet to find a fit place for her young in some cushy insulation.


These kinds of experiences make us wish the bird world could follow instructions from us. “Do not enter,” “No stopping (or dropping) on the sidewalk.” No vacancy,” or “Shh, someone’s sleeping.”


The Creator faithfully provides for all of Creation, right down to each little sparrow, equips them for flying through life, sunshine and rain, yet, holds them in His hand. Then, they parade His praise in singing and chirping! Jesus uses this example as a reminder of the Father’s watch-care over His human children. Jesus said, “they (the birds) 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?” He holds His children too.


A bird in the hand...

In addition to having food to eat, clothes to wear, a place to live and other basic needs, the Father sees us and knows our needs before we ask. His way is in the midst of all that is going on. He is on time, looking after our good, bringing glory to whom it belongs – Him. “Look at the birds of the air…” Be reminded how valuable we are to our Creator. He knows how to care for what belongs to Him. A well-known gospel singer, Ethel Waters, made this beautiful song popular, and it lives on … “His Eye Is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

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