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Archive for April, 2011

Another Bird Story

Note: If you decided to give reading my blog for Lent, you may be assured that you completed your Lenten quest. I have not written a blog since Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Maybe I could say that I gave up writing my blog for Lent!

Last Saturday afternoon, I was hiding candy-filled plastic Easter eggs for the HFPC Easter egg hunt. Because most of our little egg-hunters were younger children (an impressive turn out of children, by the way!), I wasn’t hiding the eggs in hard-to-find crevices but out in the open, around the edges of the walkway and at the base of the trees. As I was placing an egg or two underneath the tree which grows between the annex and the stone wall, I had the odd feeling of being watched. I looked up and looking right down at me was a robin sitting on her nest, which she had made in the “Y” of the tree. She immediately flew off to a nearby bush to regard me from a distance, but came back as I moved away from the tree and her nest. While her eggs were too far down in the nest to determine the number, it was pretty evident that she was guarding eggs and with great determination. I wondered what she was going to do when all the children came tumbling out into the yard, laughing and yelling. When they did spill into the yard, I could see that the mother robin was careful to check her nest, then survey the chaotic scene from a nearby branch, then discreetly fly in to check her nest, and zoom back to perch upon a high branch which overlooked the entire yard. Back and forth, back and forth—a vigilant mother!
Two scriptures came to mind because of this mother robin and her nest. First, the more obvious one from Psalm 84, “Even the sparrow [could we say “robin?”] finds a home and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.” It’s nice to have a church building where robins feel secure enough to build their nests (although, in fairness, our friends the pigeons have been roosting atop our building for YEARS! I’m not quite so thrilled with their nesting habits!) and children feel comfortable enough to hunt for Easter eggs! I like to imagine that the merging of the robin’s song of praise and our Sunday songs of praise are pleasing to God’s ears. (OK, ok, we’ll add the cooing of the pigeons as well.)
The second scripture that comes to mind is from Psalm 121, “He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” The careful, constant eye that the mother robin keeps on her nest reminds us that our God never slumbers nor sleeps, but is a vigilant, watchful parent. As the child, we may not always realize or give thought to the fact that God is watching over us, but God is there, always as near as a prayer. Some children may claim that there is no watchful God, but God’s actions aren’t affected by their disbelief. God watches and cares for us—from both far and near—all the days of our lives.
In the midst of life’s events, great and small, in certain and uncertain times, in joy and in sorrow, it’s good to praise God who delights in all that God has created, human or animal; and to give thanks that our God never slumbers nor sleeps, but like a mother robin watches over her nest, constantly watches over us.

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