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“Look at the Birds”

I’m a bird watcher. We have a suet and sunflower feeder which we can see from our kitchen windows. A variety of birds come to dine. They come frequently. Somewhere I read that they feed 50 times a day. The squirrels come too, but they don’t like the hot pepper suet and they can’t eat from the squirrel proof feeder. It is however fair game to the bears which come from time to time, and so we take the feeder down at night.

As I said, several species of birds come to the feeding station. We have cardinals, chickadees, blue jays, goldfinch, house finches, nuthatches and others. Even the pesky crows will come for the suet. We chase them away. What strikes me most about these birds is their distinctive personalities. We have a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water. There is space for four birds to feed, but only rarely will a bird permit another on the feeder. These tiny birds, about the size of a clothes pin, will hover above the feeder like a helicopter and dart about after one another like little jet war planes. Hummingbirds are belligerent little scrappers.

Bird watching is a relatively inexpensive hobby and they are entertaining to watch. It also gives me opportunity to partner with God in caring for our feathered friends. Bird watching reminds me of life lessons Jesus taught. He said, “Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are” (Matthew 6:26, LIVING NEW TESTAMENT). And He says, “Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. So don’t be afraid, you are more valuable than a whole flock of sparrows” (Mt. 10;29,31, LNT).

So, whether we feed the birds or simply watch them in flight, on our lawns, perched in our trees and shrubs, or nesting in our bird boxes, there are life lessons to be learned from them, as Jesus taught. “Don’t worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food, drink and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing (Mt. 6:25, LNT)?”  “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs and he will give you all you need from day to day, if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” (Mt. 6:31c, LNT). Hum!

Dr. Darryl E. Maxwell, Retired Baptist Pastor