Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Our patio over looks the green belt and I feel like I am living by an aviary. I like to watch the birds feed and so this summer I have put up two bird feeders. They reward me by giving me sweet songs in the mornings, and once in a while I can even catch a glimpse of a gracious humming-bird as it sails by. I love the quiet and tranquility as I sit amongst the trees and the birds. Something about it brings so much peace especially at the end of the day.
This morning as I sat by the window for breakfast I noticed that the population of blue jays has definitely increased. Last summer I only saw two of them, but this morning in a matter of 15 minutes I saw about 6. These birds are louder, and bigger than the rest of the birds. They are definitely the bullies at the bird feeders, for they would squawk and chase the other birds away until they got their fill. The other smaller wild birds would hide in the trees and wait till they are gone and then come out to grab a few seeds. Not only these birds pick on the smaller ones, they also go after their own kind to get to the feeders. These guys are big eaters, I could not understand why my feeders get emptied so fast until this morning I saw how they attacked the food!
I used to like blue jays, but after seeing them in action I got really annoyed at them. Their colorful plumage and their statures are no longer impressive to me. Their looks have ceased to be charming ! I guess this is the law of jungle, the survival of the fittest, the small guy always finish last….. As the owner of the bird feeders, I feel it is my responsibility to look out for the smaller ones and make sure they get a fair share of seeds as well. I am not sure how to go about this without scaring all the birds away, even as I write I am trying to devise a plan here….
The blue jays made me think about the teaching of Paul on the topic of the strong and the weak. Except we are not dealing with the rules of the jungle, but our responsibilities as people of God. Our values are to be different from the world’s: the strong no longer lives to rule, but is expected to care for the weak. Ray Stedman once pointed out that a favorite indoor sport of Christians is trying to change each other. The fact that we like people to be just like us, or agree with us. According to Paul’s writings in Romans 14, asides from the non-negotiable doctrinal truth, Paul says that in personal preferences and convictions we should not try to make others to be like us but have to act in ways not to stumble our weaker brothers. We should refrain to abuse our liberties in expense of others who are weak. I have learned recently through some very personal and painful encounters that I need to respect where others are in their faith journey and not to impose my own views and convictions on them. After all, He is God and I am not. But sometimes in the pursuit of being right, we can leave a trail of hurt and damaged bodies along the way, and unfortunately sometimes we are blind to the wreckage we have left behind.
The blue jays reminded me what it means to be human, to love others as the way the Lord wanted us to. At the end the day it is not about what are my rights or entitlements, but rather what I need to do to build up others who are entrusted under my care.
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God …..” Romans 14:19-20a
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Yesterday I filled up the two bird feeders, and this morning they are all emptied !! Last year, it took almost a month to finish the seeds in one.
The poor little guy came by to pick up whatever left behind by those bullies !