On Whom Do You Lean?

By Marcy Barthelette

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Matthew 6:26

I really thought we’d be finished with mating season by now but the robins in our yard are persistently working on a second or third family for the year. There is an early spring ritual at our home, whereby the robins continually try to build their nests above our downspouts and Ken must keep constant vigil so that he can remove the nests before eggs are laid. The trees are still bare then, and the birds seem to reason that the topside of a downspout provides the cover they need to provide a secure home for their young. I don’t get it, but then, I’m not a bird.

I believe God embedded the miraculous in the ordinary, and it is our task to discover it and celebrate it. Kent Nerburn

By this time of year, the process is quite different. The trees are fully leafed out and the birds finally seem to understand where they were intended to nest. They waddle through my landscape beds picking up dried daylily foliage, sail up into the taller branches of our trees and weave their treasures into an intricate and sturdy home for their tiny offspring. Soon the nest is filled with too many competitive tiny wings that flap but can’t yet fly and sometimes they become a little too boisterous.

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day. Sally Koch, Author

This week, one of those little ones managed to fall from its nest into our yard well before it was ready to fledge. Whether it was shoved out by its siblings or just became too adventurous for its own good, this little one found itself in a perilous situation. I spotted the parent sitting on the ground while I was watering and wondered why it was there. That’s not typical behavior. When I edged too close, she flew away to distract me and there lay the baby. It had its feathers but was still unable to care for itself, so she was nestling it in the grass.

Ken was planning to continue power washing the driveway, his project for the week, and in light of the fact that he would be working about 18 inches from where the young bird lay, I knew mama robin was not going to be happy with this scenario. After some deliberation, Ken pulled up some of the daylily debris that is such a favorite nesting material for the robins and attempted to weave a makeshift nest. He placed it in a bush near the house and away from the driveway. He then gently settled the young bird in its new nest and went about his power washing task.

The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the creator. Louis Pasteur, French Chemist

Very shortly mama robin was flying in and out of the bush trying to care for her baby in very difficult and unfamiliar circumstances. We saw her continue her ritual for a couple of days but then she disappeared. We don’t know what eventually happened to the little one and we knew the odds were stacked against its survival, but we did what we could to help these little creatures in their plight.

Much like our tiny bird and its mama, we sometimes find ourselves in compromised situations, whether by total accident or by poor choices. And sometimes we have to reach rock bottom before we are willing to acknowledge our need for a helper. When that time comes, our Heavenly Father is only a breath away. That mama robin acted on her protective instinct and accepted a helping hand from two willing humans; when we are in trouble we only need to ask and regardless of what kind of mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, God loves us so much that He will forgive us. If he cared enough to bring me to the right place at the right time to discover that baby robin in its moment of peril and prompted Ken to do something as outrageous as building a nest, how much more will He care when we bring our mistakes and troubles to Him for a solution?

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4: 16 (ESV)

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