Spiritual Director · August 10, 2015

Bird Watching

I find great comfort and joy in watching birds. Whether on the telephone wire or scrounging around for food, I love them especially the ones of rich colorful feathers! I’ve recently put in a bird feeder and a bird bath in my yard in eyesight of my easy chair. Last week I finished yard work and refilled the feeder(s) and got fresh water for the bird bath. And within minutes of my getting out of the way they came. I would like very much to get birds of color to my yard but I fear I don’t quite have the set up. I live on a busy intersection in town and neighbors all around. I don’t offer the quietude they seek, as I understand it, so I enjoy the occasional bright red cardinal that comes but mostly have the “regular” looking birds of brown and black combinations. I also just hung a hummingbird feeder in hopes of drawing them as well.

I could hear the birds singing from the nearby trees when I finished recently doing yard work recently: “Oh Doooouuuggg??  Can you please refill the birdfeed for us with rich, exotic and tasty seeds? And then, if it wouldn’t be too much to ask, get out of the way? If you stay nearby you make us nervous.” As I watch them feed I notice two things: there is a hierarchy of who gets to eat first and who has to wait, and they are extremely nervous. I constantly see the birds looking for predators and  getting scared and taking off. They all flutter as a group to the nearby tree as I go out for the newspaper or mail. If something outside spooks them they take off the same way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “relaxed” bird just chilling at the feeder, or eating the fallen seeds on the ground.

We are like that, you and me. We are anxious, worried, and while we may not physically look around a lot, we are looking for something. And God knows. And only God can fill the desires of our hearts. God gives us such a great encouragement about this from Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6:25 and following. Just paraphrasing, but God invites us to notice the flowers in the field and the birds of the air and how much God takes care of them. Then, Jesus says, we are of so much more value than the flowers and the birds, we can know that God will take care of us all the more. The Lord invites us not to be anxious or worried about tomorrow, but to live into today because God will take care of us. God will take care of our every need.

Since the Bible is clear, “we have all sinned and fallen short” (Romans 3:23) we will be anxious anyway. In fact, we might read that wonderful passage in Matthew and be anxious because we read it. We do not stop there! In the death and resurrection of Jesus we have hope in the Gospel Good News that we are saved (could we say, made non-anxious?). So with every anxiety that comes, we send it on to God, give thanks and pray and know this pattern is a part of life. As the birds fly to nearby trees for cover and safety, we can “fly” to Jesus for comfort, peace, and a calm for daily living.

Jesus says “I am Living Bread, whoever comes to me will never be hungry, whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6). We just keep flying back and forth…..from the world we know and back to Jesus for comfort, peace and hope. Then back out into the world again to feed others, and let our colors shine!


Pr. Doug


St. Vincent Clay (Brazil)

St. Vincent Seton Specialty (Indianapolis)

dgivan@stvincent.org (email)

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Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.