Little Heroes

When I was five, I found an injured bird, caught it, and took it home. It wasn’t injured. I had unknowingly approached its nest too closely. It pretended to have a broken wing to lead me away. It offered its life in place of its young. That memory inspired me to write my children’s book, “Save Our Egg.”

BA…meaning Before Arthritis, I used to run. I liked to run around the fenced track at the school. There was no hard surface and the grass made running difficult, but because it was a mile—it was easy to keep track of distance. One day—running it proved hazardous. Neighborhood seagulls were teaching their babies to fly and had positioned them in the middle of the field. They considered me a threat. Their angry squawks and repeated dive bombing sent me back to the pavement.

When son Luke was eleven, we rescued and raised a baby raven. Rap followed Luke everywhere—even when he was riding his bike. Unlike our collie puppy who liked everyone, Rap was a guard dog. He loved Luke’s best friend, but when people he didn’t know entered our driveway—Rap attacked. He never bothered neighborhood kids in their own yards—just in “his” yard. When the ranchers took a break for lunch in the barn, Rap joined them, walking up and down the long table to accept whatever tidbits they were willing to share.

Recently, a pigeon knocked on our glass door at the back of the house. I opened the door and the bird walked in and settled under one of the kitchen chairs. It was raining, so I gave the bird some seed and water and let it spend the night. The next morning, the pigeon began following me around the house and I put it back outside. Birds are intelligent. Calling someone a “bird brain” is actually a compliment.

Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” Matthew 6:26. Jesus also said that not even one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father’s will, and adds, “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31.

Birds are little heroes.

The Nobility of Birds

When the Lord gave me a children’s book story involving birds, I wrote it. It hasn’t been released yet for publication, but it is finished and waiting.

However, I wrote the story because of the Lord’s inspiration. I didn’t stop to think about birds—they were just the right vehicle to carry the story. I have seen small birds defend their nests from huge predators. I’ve been attacked by seagulls for getting too close to their nests. One of my heartwarming memories is the bird couple that built a nest in my garden center and became so attached to me that—thinking that I needed protection—they squared off against a hawk. When their babies left the nest for the first time, the babies hopped up into my lap for a visit before they flew away.

Most birds mate for life. One of my heartbreaking memories is getting home just in time to see a large raccoon lumber across our neighbor’s yard with blue feathers sticking out of both sides of its mouth and a California scrub jay desperately attacking the coon in an unsuccessful attempt to save its mate. The poor bird sat in the tree where his spouse lost her life for days emitting ear-shattering cries of anguish.

Still, I never realized the nobility of birds until this spring. Perhaps it’s the covid-slowed world that made me recognize it. Birds do. They simply do. They do what God has created them to do. They don’t wait for recognition from a music award ceremony or accolades from their church choir before they sing the songs the Creator of the universe gave them to sing…they just do.

Birds don’t wait for favorable or comfortable conditions to gather food. They do. They just do.

Birds don’t wait for good weather to collect material for their nests…they do. They just do. Birds simply do what God created them to. Without complaining. Without stopping. Without procrastination. Without recognition. Without complaining. And with the courage to send off a predator ten times their size.

The world would be a better place if humans practiced the nobility of birds. If they learned to do what God has created them to do. Without complaining. Without stopping. Without procrastination. Without recognition. Without complaining. And with courage, not fear.

“And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 Stephanie Parker McKean: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Girls, Take it From the Birds

male bird 3

When God created birds, He gave male birds bright, colorful feathers to attract females. Girl birds don’t work to attract boy birds; boy birds work to attract girl birds.

We’ve got it all wrong today. Females wear skimpy to non-existent clothing, color their hair, pierce their bodies, and paint their faces to attract males. Listen up, women: we should learn from the birds.

I saw a young girl yesterday wearing such exaggerated makeup that she looked like a cat. Her eye shadow was so thick and dark that it hid her eyebrows. She wore a short skirt that barely covered her underwear, a top cut so low that her boobs almost popped out, and the expression of a lost puppy on the side of the road.

Women need to reverse the media hype about attracting men and make men work for it. Take it from the birds. Today’s expectations about how women should look, and the pressure for women to hunt down men as if they were prey and capture them is a recipe for mental illness. It makes women feel unattractive, unloved, and unappreciated because they can never live up to the unrealistic expectations. We should learn from the birds.

In Jesus’ time, when a man asked a woman to marry her, he went out and built her a house, then collected his bride. He worked for it and she felt respected, loved and protected. When Abraham wanted a wife for his son Isaac, he sent camels loaded with treasure to the young woman and her family. Isaac loved his wife Rebekah and she felt loved, cherished and appreciated. Isaac worked for it.

The Bible upholds the best image for a woman to have of herself: Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30) Time cannot ruin beauty that is on the inside, nor does it require plucking, painting, pricking, or pruning to perfect.

We should learn from the birds.

peacock 2