Birds of the Air

Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them, Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?    - Matthew 6:26-27

Our church’s coffee and conversation group meets on Monday morning, and I join them when I can.  I have learned some interesting things about the various members.  For example, Steve Matson only associates with giants.  If you want to check out the truth of what I say, try to get in his old truck!

John Threatt is another really interesting guy at church.  John is one of the guys who runs the sound board for worship.  Before he retired, he worked at a nuclear plant.  My first year here, I learned John is like a race horse at the starting gate when spring arrives.  He is rearing and stomping and chomping at the bit to plant his tomatoes.  Let us have a nice long period of warmth before Easter, he can’t contain himself.  He has to put his plants out.  He recently shared an email with me that offered another dimension to John, part of his love for his tomato plants is a love for hummingbirds.

John wrote me the following note several weeks ago:

It’s been cool lately so I was not in a hurry to put out any hummingbird feeders on my tomato cage.   I had questioned my friends, and none had even seen a hummingbird this year. I was therefore surprised to see a lone hummer sitting on top of the wire on the tomato cage looking like a puffball and pretty miserable. His wee body language said "where are the feeders that are supposed to be here?" He had to be one of "my" birds because how else would he know that there were supposed to be feeders there?  I almost ran to the garage and prepared the first two feeders and put some commercial feed in them.  I usually switch to pure sugar after it warms up and the birds can catch other food.  They catch small bugs like gnats for protein.

Recently, my daily devotional had a message written by John Sweeney.  He reminded me of some facts about St Francis of Assisi.  Sweeney said St Francis was known for preaching to the birds, but also he taught Christians to find a different way to live in God’s world.  A key Franciscan principle which comes straight from the Gospel is, “Live less for security and more in joy and anticipation for what God can do in your life.”

Sweeney went on to remind us that St. Francis told his friars, when planting the annual vegetable garden, to be sure to leave a portion of the soil for planting flowers.  Flowers had no practical value, and they offered no security for the friars during the winter months, but Francis called them his little “sisters” and he loved to look at their beautiful colors.  In his devotional, Sweeney encourages us to have a little less preoccupation with survival stuff, and make room for the joys like those early arriving hummingbirds, trusting that God will fill their physical and spiritual needs. Thanks, John, for caring for a creature of such exquisite beauty and wonder.

Pastor Pam