I grew up in Texas, often wakened by the rasp of blue jays outside my window, frequently entertained by mockingbirds with their collection of stolen songs. Buzzards circled in the sky. On the ground, close up, they are hideous creatures, but high overhead, riding the wind, barely moving their wings, they looked majestic.
When we moved to Rochester, Minnesota we lived on Assissi Heights, next to the Convent that housed the nursing staff for St. Mary’s and Mayo Clinic. I watched the Canadian geese migrating to and from the fields in their Vee formation. Sometimes they passed so low overhead I could hear the wind in their wings, not to mention their constant honking. I later learned they can fly 70% further in formation than they can fly alone.
I camped with my sons in the Boundary Waters, a wilderness region of rivers and lakes on the Canadian border. A bald eagle built her nest in the top of a lone tree on a rocky island less than 50 yards from our camp. When she circled overhead the sun glistened off her white head.
We owned a beach house for a few years on Galveston Island. I never tired watching the sea gulls balance on the wind, descending delicately to the shallow surf where they laughed and danced on stick legs. They seemed to think it was hilarious. I watched the pelicans swoop in squadrons over the breaking waves. One or more would suddenly drop in a vertical dive, splash in the surf and return to the sky with an unsuspecting fish.
In Colorado our house looks out on an open marsh. Every spring the red-wing black birds return to build their nests in the tall grass. And, as in Minnesota, the Canadian geese occasionally fill the sky from one horizon to the other.
In every region and every climate birds survive and thrive. They are masters of the air, the forests, the land and the sea. No wonder Jesus encouraged us to “consider the birds.”
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? ” (Matthew 6:25-26).
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in [x]hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
He who cares for the birds of the air will doubtless care for you. You are of great worth to God. Look to the birds and listen to their song.