That’s for the birds

In Matthew 6:26, Jesus teaches, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.”

That doesn’t mean the Father couldn’t use a little help watching after our plethora of feathered friends. That’s where we come in. As is often the case, the good Lord uses us, His creatures with the greatest brain power (that can be debated in many cases), to be His hands, feet, eyes and ears.

I often wonder what happens to our critter friends in the dead of winter — how do they keep warm? How do they gather food? Where do they find rest? And I’ve no doubt that God gives them the natural abilities to survive. But, as I mentioned earlier, that doesn’t mean we can’t help.

Last weekend the diocese was slammed with a snowstorm/blizzard. Regardless which side of the bridges one lives on, the snowfall totals were substantial.

As I watched the wind howl and the snow fall sideways, I thought of all God’s creatures, great and small, including humans, who were up against the elements on their own.

I raised more than a prayer or two for our homeless and hungry brothers and sisters, which at the time was all I could do for them.

What I could do was see to my aviary amigos.

You see, the birds in mid-cities have it better than their suburban counterparts. City birds can often be found around eateries.

Look in the parking lots of a McDonald’s or Burger King — not only can the birds get more than their share of French fries, but the fat content alone will keep them warm until spring.

Plus, there are so many nooks and crannies in buildings and overpasses, that finding a nesting ground is quite simple.

But the further from the busyness and businesses, the more difficult the task of making it through the winter becomes.

Once the winds died down and I could go out and not have my face pelted with snowflakes hitting me at 50 m.p.h., I filled my cylindrical bird-feeder with a smorgasbord of seeds and dried fruit.

The reaction was nearly instantaneous. Birds arrived from God-knows-where and feasted on the treats.

There were wrens, chickadees, cardinals, and dark-eyed juncos (my favorites), and they were all pecking away; all getting along.

It warmed my heart not only to see them filling their bellies, but doing so in harmony.

After this past year of political and social unrest, and what seemingly lies ahead, I’m seriously considering spreading seed and dried fruit across the land and see if that will bring us all together.

If not, then all the better for our friends with feathers.

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