“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love wtih words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – I John 3:17,18
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12
I’ve said before I’m not much of an animal person. I’m glad there are animal people in this world, but I am not one of them.
But then one comes along and makes me eat my words.
On Election Day, Noah and I were hanging out at home (still in our PJs after lunch time… heaven). He was resting on the couch feeling crummy after five vaccinations from the day before. All of a sudden, we hear a thump on our glass window and see a bird flopping around on our front porch.
I felt guilty that I had done such a great job with the Windex that morning, until later when someone told me that the bird didn’t think he was flying into my living room, but that he saw the reflection of the “outside” instead. (Which makes sense, because I actually never do a great job when it comes to Windex, or most cleaning, if I’m being honest).
I was going to go the route of “Just don’t look out the window again until your father comes home,” but Noah, being a much more compassionate soul when it comes to God’s creatures, hopped up and ran outside to check on him.
The poor thing had a floppy wing and a bloody mouth. I was really pulling for him to take off and be okay. I was praying for him. I had other people praying for him. Noah tried to give it water to drink and rinse it’s mouth out, which was working quite well. It was still able to walk a bit and fly a foot or two. But that was it. So we went inside to give it some space.
*At this point, I am sure some of you are thinking we ruined the situation by being too close and touching the bird and leaving our “scent” on the little guy. I will point out that he was a regular bird, not a baby, and I will share this link http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/babybird.asp to prove that the scent of a human doesn’t mean the end even for a baby bird, let alone one that is full-grown.
I saw a couple of other birds nearby, and felt relieved that they would come help our injured friend. But they didn’t. I watched them, expecting them to at least get close to inspect it, offer it a nudge, or at the very least, offer some sympathy. But they gave him nothing. They went on about their business like he wasn’t even there.
I thought if anyone could help our bird, it would be other birds. A bird would know what a bird needs, right? I had no idea what our little friend needed.
But the birds didn’t bother stopping to help. They kept on doing what birds do, looking for worms and chasing each other (it’s spring after all 😉 ).
I had to wonder if God ever feels that way about us. I was watching out my window, feeling so disappointed that those other birds were so self-involved that they didn’t bother showing mercy or compassion to our wounded buddy. Has He seen us do the same thing?
Has He watched us become so busy with our own stuff that people around us who are hurting or sick suffer alone because we don’t take the time to share their pain? Has He watched us pass by someone who is so sad, without taking the time to care because we are busy or don’t want to be all up in their business? Has He watched as people suffer starvation while we throw out our leftovers?
I am preaching to myself right here. I need to pay attention to those around me. Family, friends, neighbors and strangers. If there is an opportunity for me to show the love of Jesus, I need to do it. Father, forgive me for when I haven’t. My prayer is that my eyes will be opened to these opportunities, so that I don’t stay focused on myself, my needs, my goals, but that I will actively show the love of Jesus to people around me every chance I get.
Join me? Let’s look for opportunities even today.