"Behold the birds of the air . . ."
My wife and I have a new pastime or means of entertainment. It's bird-watching (and feeding) at home. We both enjoy waiting for birds to alight on our deck and observing them as they feed on bird seeds that we make sure are always there.
So far, we have seen cardinals with their red wings and crest and black face and red beaks, and their female counterparts with soft brown and gray color bodies and wings. There are sparrows colored brown, purple and house finches, and bigger birds like Mourning Doves. We hope other bird species will eventually come, especially blue jays.
It is enjoyable and relaxing to see the colorful birds walking on our deck picking up the seeds with their beaks and spitting out the shells. When they have had their fill, they just fly away and disappear into the trees nearby. But they always come back at another time to feed again.
We later learned it was not only we who enjoy bird-watching. At least two of our friends have this pastime, too. Lately, we learned that our newly installed archbishop has this as a hobby. Enjoying watching God's created beauty seems to be universal. Saint Francis of Assisi is known to be friends to animals and called a fox "brother" and the moon "sister." Psalm 48 talks of creatures giving glory to God: " . . . Animals wild and tame, creatures that crawl and birds that fly, praise the Lord. . . " (Psalm 148:10)
We can learn about the goodness of God through the birds:
"Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? (Matthew 6:26-27)
This Scripture verse has seen us through at some crucial moments in our lives. This is true even now.
And our feeding of these birds? God feeds them through nature, in the wild, and only in some cases, through us. We know God wants us to feed, not only birds, but those among us in need.
Jesus feeds us, too, not only with our daily bread that nourishes our bodies, but most importantly, with the Bread of Life, His own Body and Blood that feeds our souls and gives us eternal life. (John 6)
Yes, bird-feeding and watching can inspire us to trust in the Providence of God, and to be instruments of that Providence for others. It can lead us to a better appreciation of our daily blessings of food, especially the Bread of Life, that sustains us in our journey to eternal life.
The Lord is kind and merciful. Always#