Lessons from Nature

Two days ago a Savannah sparrow hit my office window and scared the wits out of me (my computer chair is right next to the window). I looked out and saw feathers floating to the ground and a bird on the ground, obviously dead. He hit hard–didn’t have a chance.

This morning I heard another bird hit a window, this time my husband’s office window (directly upstairs from mine). The sound wasn’t as loud, so I hoped for the best. I looked out and saw a little Harris’ sparrow on its back, legs kicking as it struggled to figure out what happened. Thinking it would have a better chance right-side-up, I went out to see if I could assist it in flipping over. As I rounded the corner, he flipped by himself. Not wanting to cause more stress, I went back into the house and began praying.

Birds are such a fantastic example of God’s care for us. My heart was heavy for the Harris’ sparrow as he struggled to survive in the 31 degree weather. Being on the stone porch probably didn’t help him, and having a dead sparrow two feet away didn’t help me! My heart was breaking.

After an hour, the bird was sitting up, puffed out to stay warm, and his eyes were open most of the time. His head turned in reaction to shadows and loud noises, so I thought he had a good chance of survival. After another prayer for the bird’s safety, I gathered my two youngest and we went grocery shopping. An hour later we arrived home to find the bird still there. As we watched, he turned around. Thinking he would probably fly any time, we had our lunch, checking on him every 10 minutes or so.

Suddenly my daughter was yelling, “He’s on his side!” We rushed to the window to see the little bird about a foot away from his original spot, on his side, motionless. He must have tried to fly and it was just too much.

God had a plan for that bird’s life. He was always watching, always caring for it. He does the same for us: watching over us, guiding our paths, working out His plan. That little sparrow reminded me of that fact at a time when I needed reminding. Sometimes things happen in life that give us an out-of-control feeling. We can’t see the whole picture, so we grasp at what we know and try not to let things change. We can’t see that things are not really changing, or that if they are changing it is for the best.

We often get so caught up in what “might” happen that we forget to live in the here-and-now. We get ahead of God. My children and I enjoyed the nearness of that little Harris’ sparrow while we could. Later, they’ll go out and bury him and the Savannah sparrow (so I don’t have to keep looking at them when I look out my window). We’ll move on with our lives, and give our parakeets a little extra attention. And we’ll keep looking to God for direction and guidance.


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