"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Witch Hazel or God?

 I doubt anyone could disagree that this is a wonderful time of year. We’re having Goldilocks weather (not too hot, not too cold), a host of community events and festivals to attend around the county, ballgames to watch at all the local parks, school is out and the library system has begun the summer reading program for children and teenagers. What could be better than Henry County in May?

 Sitting out on the deck this morning, I saw the normal flocks of birds at the feeders and pecking on the ground. Brown thrashers, sparrows, bluebirds, cardinals and finches are singing all day. All colors of blooming plants around the yard, plus a lineup of pots and greenery surround the deck. This year we have a baby bird (a possible baby hawk) that does not have a mama to feed him. It’s a big ole squatty loud bird that can fly fairly well, but isn’t able to land on the feeders and eat. Somehow, a little bitty sparrow has adopted him and this strange pair of birds flies around, settles on the ground or a deck rail, the sparrow heads to a feeder then returns to feed the squatty baby who then squawks at full volume. After a couple feedings, they swoop into the trees only to return later. I don’t know how these two got together, but the sparrow clearly sees it as her duty to take care of this little orphan bird. And she does it well.

 When I was a child, I learned a song that goes, “Our Heavenly Father loves the birds, He shows them what to do. If God so loves the little birds, I know He loves me, too.” For whatever reason, the squatty bird ended up mama-less, I believe that God led the sparrow to take care of him. The sparrow isn’t fussing and trying to avoid the squatty bird, she seems to be doing what she is to do. The squatty bird isn’t complaining about the type of seed that the sparrow is feeding him, he just seems grateful for what he has. I cannot see any signs of worry about from where his next meal will come. Why can’t we as people be so trusting? Jesus tells us in Luke 12 to look at the birds and flowers and notice they don’t work at getting food or beautiful blooms and feathers. He then continues to teach that if God cares and provides for the birds and flowers, then how much more He will take care of us who are much more valuable to Him. The importance to me is in these verses, “Why do you worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will wear? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, then why do you worry about it? Just look first for the kingdom of God and all these things will be given to you.”

 I tend to worry a lot. And get stressed out. And then I itch. All over. I worry about money, illness of myself and family, economy, politics, jobs, the decisions that I see people make, churches, ignorant people, everything. I just worry. The itching has become a sign to me that I’m stressed and need to get out the bottle of Witch Hazel. Or, perhaps I should take the itching as a sign that I need to trust God more, worry less and slow down my life. He loves me (and you) and WILL take care of us if we only trust Him.

 And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.