Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hungry Babies

Mouths open wide, two baby birds sit at the birdhouse door. They’ve seen their mama coming with something good to eat, a juicy worm or delicious bug. These little ones are growing bigger and stronger. I’ve found that hungry little birds can raise a noisy ruckus, just as their human counterparts when they are hungry. I’m so happy they’re alive and thriving.

My heart jumps at the thrill of seeing them in action. I wish my camera shudder moved as quickly as my heart. Its slight delay causes me to miss the snapshot I’d hoped for. Food is transferred from mother to babies—so quick.

Nevertheless, I can watch. Those two baby birds returned to their nest made it through their trauma and are doing well. The bird family is intact and busy. My feet do a little happy dance while my face breaks into a broad grin. Life! It brings such joy. (See past blog for the trauma story.)

Watching this little bird family causes me to hark back to days with my grandparents. Grandpa was special, but he was elderly. His energy level was not that of a younger man. He kept as active as he could. But each afternoon he’d lie on the living room couch in front of the big picture window and watch life on the street. He saw neighborhood children at play, an occasional pet, the twitter of birds, all the general comings and goings of people and creatures doing what they do within his view. Life pulsating.

Sometimes we cannot participate in what is going on around us, or just don’t have the strength to do so—especially as age overtakes. Yet watching life hum on around us helps. Even as an observer, we are part of it. We can enter into the emotions of life, enjoy it, and learn from it.

The bird family outside my kitchen window warms my heart as I observe their antics. They fill me with awe. I’m certainly not part of the bird community, yet I enter in as an observer. They’ve taught me what it is like to be a bird—sort of—to live outside where predators lurk, and where the need for vigilance is paramount to survival. They’ve shown me that God has made ways for them to “live off the land” and yet do no preparatory work. They’ve taught me about faithful commitment to one another in a family…even when life gets tough.

Life! It is simply a wonderful gift from God.

Jesus said, “…I came that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly.” John 10:10b

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