Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Free as a Bird Now

This afternoon I let one of my three birds, the yellow love bird I hand-fed as a baby last December, out of its cage while I cleaned the cage. It's become a daily ritual in the last month. As usual, I did this outside as the bird habitually sticks close to me. I walked over to say hello with my neighbors and asked their grandchild if she wanted to play with the bird.

First the lovebird fluttered a foot or two above me and returned. It then uncharacteristically flew up an extra couple of feet and then returned again. The third time, it lifted up about 20 feet and moved away from the building, at which time it quickly caught a wind current which my southern-exposure house had been blocking and soared away. I watched in semi-disbelief as in about 10 seconds it flew at least 300 yards with the strong stiff wind and came to land on the top of a duck barn far south of here. I figured that if it ever decided to fly away I could catch it, but didn't count on the help of the wind! The fact that the bird is yellow and the sun was glinting off it brightly is the only way I managed to keep it in my vision.

I should have known better. A few days ago when I took it over to visit a neighbor's bird, it seemed slightly more independent that before, and a lot of sparrows have been coming over to make friends recently. I drove over on my scooter and looked for it about an hour. I actually spotted it another 50 yards or so further away in the next field over, but by the time I had found a path I could drive over on, I lost sight of it forever....

I'm reminded again of the loving Father who waits at the door for His prodigals and goes running out to meet them when they return.

With so many major tragedies the last few days (cyclone in Myanmar, horrific earthquake in China's Sichuan province, and, on a far lesser scale but of no less import to those who were victims,  the weekend tornado disasters back in the U.S.) I'm reminded of those who ask, "if there's a God, how could He let bad things which result in so many deaths happen?"  In contrast, as I watch podcasts of the day's news events,  I'm reminded of a grieving father's pained as he reflects upon the suffering he knows his children have and will endure.

"How He longs to care for us! "Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matt 6:26)

Even though summer is approaching, I wonder how long the lovebird will last out in the wild... it will probably fly over and land on the head of the first person it sees.

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