I didn’t intend to show you more birds today. Honestly, I didn’t! But yesterday ended up with so many of them making their presence known around here that I had to say something about it.
Palm Sunday began with a fresh snowfall (yes, I know… I thought it was a cruel April Fools joke, too), and birds swarmed the birdfeeder hanging from a corner of our deck – apparently frantic for extra calories to fight the chill.
But the pine siskin travels in flocks, so we’re not talking about our usual three or four birds flitting in and out as the chickadees and juncos often do. No, we had dozens. All at once. And with two sets of glass patio doors and eight windows rimming the deck, there were some collisions. Most resulted in nothing more than a few lost feathers, but one Junco sat, stunned, on the deck for an hour before he eventually got over it and flew away, and one Siskin had a head-on with the glass and died instantly.
They were greedy and grabbing, chowing down as if it were the only food they’d seen in weeks. When the chickadees and juncos arrived for their regular meal, they were chased off the premises. It reminded me of the occasional department store sale I’ve attended! Hands off! I saw it first!
Friday I quoted from Matthew 6:26-27 about how birds don’t sow, reap or store up food and yet God provides for them. But I have to say, the belly-up-to-the-bar and elbow-into-the-trough kind of behaviour those birds were displaying gives me reason to question the intended analogy.
I think greed and selfishness may be the most common of our human shortcomings. We’re a “me first” society, too often thinking of how to meet our own needs before considering the condition of others.
I’m not even going to try coming up with a writing analogy for this one. As we enter Holy Week maybe it’s appropriate that we look at a more personal application instead.
When our own desires and preferences are more important to us than maintaining harmony within a community – when we begin grasping at what satisfies us without any thought that it might upset others or be divisive – don’t we resemble a greedy flock of birds more than the image of God in which we were lovingly made?
Sorry. I’m having a little soapbox moment here. But I’m looking ahead to Good Friday, and it’s something to think about as we contemplate the sacrifice that was made for us.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.”