Back in November, I had two unforgettable bird encounters.
After a morning of leading worship at church, I headed back to the campus to connect with a friend. When I arrived at the church, the door was locked. I stood outside debating how I was going to get in, and a flicker of yellow caught my attention on the cold concrete below my feet. It was an odd sight to behold. There, one foot from me, sat a precious little Chickadee bird. I stared at it, pondering how I could help this helpless creature.
I knew I couldn’t pick it up off the ground with my bare hands, but I had to do something for this bird. It was suffering, and my heart was breaking.
In a moment of “oh yeah,” I dug into my Whataburger sack and pulled out a pile of napkins. I gently wrapped them around my bird friend, who was now opening and closing its beak as a sign of distress. I carefully carried the bird up the steps and placed him on a pile of leaves at the base of a tree. I felt this was a safe spot for the bird to recover since there were several other birds flying in the trees nearby, which outlined the parking lot.
As silly as it may sound, with tears streaming down my face, I leaned down and asked Jesus to help this struggling bird.
When I was driving later that afternoon, Matthew 6:25-24 came to mind:
“Do not be anxious about your life… 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 more valuable than they? Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
In that moment, I realized I am the bird. God’s love is all-encompassing and His heart breaks when I am suffering. In that pain and suffering, He loves me and provides for me.
My drive took me to the house where I was petsitting two dogs and one tropical bird. As is habit when I’m there, I fed Kiwi and then let her out of her cage to fly around the kitchen while I fed the dogs.
At one point, I left the kitchen to walk down the hall and she flew from her perch and landed on my shoulder. She rode there as I went about doing other things through the house. I realized she was being very quiet and still, which isn’t always her “norm,” so I looked into the mirror to see what she was doing on my shoulder.
The scene caught me by surprise. She had nestled her miniature green body into my hair, just behind my ear, and was sleeping peacefully. She can be a very finicky bird, but she clearly felt safe enough with me in that moment to relax in my presence. I had fed her, and now she rested with me.
Then it hit me again: I am the bird. God feeds me and cares for me, and because of that, I can nestle into Him and rest in His Presence.
I am the bird, friend. And so are you.
God’s heart breaks in your suffering, but He loves you and will provide.
God feeds you and cares for you, and because of that, you can nestle into Him and rest in His Presence.