May 26, 2010

A Battle of the Birds

2010 1515 page31 cap FLUTTER OF BLUE CAUGHT MY ATTENTION. STRETCHING MY ACHING BACK. I looked up, glad for the diversion from spreading mulch in my flowerbeds. The beautiful bluebird swooped over, and I caught a glimpse of his rose-colored breast as he settled on the wire fence. So, it really is a bluebird, I happily realized. How I love them!
I glanced over as my husband, Greg, came out of the garage and squatted on the grass beside me, his eyes squinting against the sun. We watched as the bluebird and its mate swooped and flew, a riot of color in the beautiful spring afternoon. Maybe they’ll decide to nest in our new birdhouse, I thought.
A few days later Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird moved in and started their family. That’s when the trouble began.
One morning I woke up to Greg banging on our bedroom window. “Hey,” he yelled at a house sparrow that was trying to get the eggs in the bluebirds’ nest.
2010 1515 page32Why can’t the sparrow leave them alone and build its own nest? I wondered. Why invade my favorite little bird family and take those eggs from such beautiful birds?
As the days passed Greg and I anxiously watched the battle between the birds. The bluebirds fluttered outside the nest, beating blue wings in a valiant attempt to protect their young. The sparrow kept up its harassment, waiting for the moment when it could get to the eggs.
I wanted to protect the bluebirds, to do something to help. But my efforts to scare away the sparrow during the next few days provided the bluebirds with only temporary relief.
One particularly beautiful evening, when everything was bathed in a golden light and the birds sang their evening calls to one another, I suddenly felt very angry. Angry at Satan for wrecking this beautiful planet we call home. For bringing discord, strife, and division where once only beauty and harmony existed. For bringing jealousy and envy, pride, and covetousness into our little world. I thought of a friend’s marriage that was breaking apart; my cousin’s body, ravaged by the effects of cancer; another friend working so hard, yet facing bankruptcy.
Then words of the apostle Paul from long ago echoed in my mind: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:35-37, KJV). I felt reassured by the knowledge that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus!
Soon the sky changed to rose and then gray as the day darkened into night, yet I didn’t feel afraid. Satan’s rule over this earth has its limits, and it will one day come to an end.
Early one morning not long after, Greg and I heard the familiar “cheep, cheep” of the sparrow outside. We dashed to the window and saw it sitting triumphantly on top of the birdhouse. Greg sighed and looked at me. “I think that means he got the eggs, Jilly.”
We rushed outside. The air smelled fresh and sweet. I arrived at the bluebird house just behind Greg. He was already stooped over, looking at the ground. Broken eggs lay scattered on the grass. My heart ached for Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird.
What was that Bible text? Nothing can separate us from the love of God! Not even the killing of innocent little baby birds. Sin won’t last forever; someday there will be no more pain, hatred, or strife. And when that time comes, I want a family of bluebirds to live near my mansion.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 
Jill Morikone is a music teacher, a church pianist, and a host on 3ABN Today cooking segments. This article was published May 27, 2010.