Friday, April 8, 2011

The Bird On The Ramp

Fawn's window killed a bird today.  She'd heard a bump and found the little creature with his broken neck lying on her front porch.  And being the tender creature she is, she grieved.  I'm sure most of us have a bird story or two, but nothing stands out in my mind quite like what I saw some years back while  living in Alabama.

I was sorting through music in a small office at the church one Friday afternoon when I was startled by a loud thump at the outside door directly behind me.  I peered through a pane of glass and saw a bird with a twisted neck lying on the metal ramp which ascended from the front lawn to the door where I was standing.  It wasn't hard to figure out what happened.  Poor bird, I thought. 

I remember once when I was a girl my dad threw a stone at a robin that was in his strawberry patch.  I'm sure he only intended to scare it away, but instead he hit it in the leg.  The bird slumped to the ground, the lower part of his leg dangling and useless.  My father got a pair of pliars and held the terrified creature in his one hand while trying to cut off the dangling appendage with his other.  The bird cried out once more and then went limp in his hand.  I had never seen anything die of fright before.  I was horrified  and began to sob, so heartbroken at what had happened.  I could tell that my dad felt as bad as I did.  I put it in a small box and he buried it for me under the pine tree at the corner of the rhubarb patch.   In his retirement years, he would devote a lot of time and money to taking care of the birds that visited his yard.

I knew I would have to do something with the bird on the ramp. After all,  I couldn't leave him out there in the hot Alabama sun.  I'd finish up my project and would later dispose of him.  It was about then I heard another noise directly outside the door, the sound of anxious birds.  I looked out again to see three or four of the same kind flying directly over the still form lying there, obviously very agitated.  Then suddenly one of them landed on the ramp next to his fallen comrade.  The others continued to fly and swoop and call out in their own peculiar tongue as the lone bird began little by little to roll the body of his dead companion down the ramp with his head.  I would later walk down to find him lying in the grass.  He had been pushed the entire way.  

That whole incident touched me deeply and I've thought about it several times over the years. In fact, when I heard about the bird hitting Fawn's window today,  I thought of it again.  It reminded me that Jesus was talking to a bunch of people one day and told them that a sparrow doesn't fall to the ground without the Father knowing about it.  And then he reminds them that if He cares that much about the birds, He must certainly care for us all the more.   I don't have any doubt about that at all.  I figure If He cared enough to use one common bird to get another one off a metal ramp, certainly He has his eyes on me.  
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