A Mother's Fierce Love
This spring, we have had a rather persistent robin take up residence at the parsonage. It started several weeks ago when I woke up to find it building a nest on top of a blade of the ceiling fan on the back deck. It hadn't made much progress yet, so I simply turned on the fan on a low speed to show the robin how foolish a spot it had chosen. After about half an hour, the robin gave up and moved on, or so I thought. The next morning I woke to find the robin working quickly to build a nest. It had made a bit more progress this time but still not too much to turn the fan on. I left fan on most of the day this time. We would repeat this process a couple of days later when the robin discovered the fan sitting idly still that morning. Three times the charm apparently, so the robin finally gave up and moved on - to a precarious ledge beside the front steps. Her persistence - even if a bit foolish - had to be admired, so we decided to let her be. As she finished the nest, laid her eggs, and began to watch her little hatchlings, we tried not to disturb her too much, not lingering on the steps too long. The boys - especially Seth - have enjoyed taking a peek at the little birdies every day.
Then the storm came this past week, and with its strong winds the nest fell off its narrow perch. Thankfully, the babies survived the fall and huddled beside what was left of their home right there on the front steps. They were not too far off from hopping around and trying to fly, so we decided to leave them there and to use our side garage door instead. The mother robin still attended her babies and kept a watchful eye on them from the birdbath or the edge of the gutter. On Saturday, I had gone to check the mail and turned back to the house. Then I saw it! A squirrel had bounded up onto the steps to investigate this strange sight. Quick as a flash, the mother swooped down from the birdbath and dive-bombed the squirrel. Squirrels may be fast, but I have never seen one high-tail itself back to the safety of a tree as fast that one did. Even so, the robin enraged to protect her offspring was faster still, chasing the squirrel all the way across the yard and up the tree, dive-bombing it every leap of the way. Having treed it as well as any hound might do, she flitted back to the small birds resting there, saw that they were okay, and returned to her perch to guard that which she cares for more than her own life.
That is the persistence of love - the willingness to do what seems foolish to the world, to never forsake that which you love, to even lay down your life for it. Jesus, before he was arrested and crucified in Jerusalem, declared to that same "city that kills prophets... how often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings" (Matthew 23:37). May we never lose sight of the persistence of God's love for us - a love that never forsakes us and never falters in the face of danger, even to the point of dying for us.
Blessings on the journey, Pastor Jim
Living in Community
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