Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous as getting yourself into a stew watching the birds in your backyard????!!!!
I keep several feeders in my yard – I enjoy watching the birds early in the morning while I have my coffee.
One of the feeders is a special thistle feeder that is supposed to attract those beautiful little goldfinch. The feeder itself is made in such a way that it is supposed to keep other birds away from it. The same is true of the sunflower feeder – the perches are supposed to allow only small attractive little birds – chickadee, titmouse, purple finch, etc. – to sit on them. In other words, I purposely try to attract the birds I LIKE and to keep the larger, sometimes ANNOYING, birds away.
I even attempt to placate those big birds. I keep some suet in another part of the yard hoping they will stay over there and not try to “steal” the food of the birds I really WANT in my yard. Of course, they can go through the suet in no time and then I’m annoyed about THAT!
In addition, my efforts to keep the birds I WANT separate and apart from the birds I DON’T WANT do not always pay off and the next thing you know, those big, nasty birds are chasing the pretty little ones away and trying to land on one of those little perches where they don’t belong. I’ve even had the audacity to start yelling and waving my arms hoping to chase them away!!
Seriously, I must be losing it!
But, you know, it’s not just birds that are the issue, is it? Don’t we often – no doubt subconsciously – try to separate people the same way? We make decisions about the types of people we LIKE to have around us and the types of people we DON’T. And, of course, those decisions extend even further – we decide about the types of people who we think DESERVE our help and the types of people who DON’T.
I’m not sure that there is any evidence in the Bible of Jesus turning away from a person in need because he decided He didn’t like to be around them or that, somehow, they were not worthy of His help.
I think about that sometimes when I see someone in need. I think about whether giving them money or something else will simply be enabling them to … buy liquor … buy drugs … whatever. And then I think about what Christ would have done – would he have simply walked by as I have often done? Or would He have erred on the side on compassion?
I suppose that what I’ve done in my backyard, without even thinking twice, is to categorize the poor birds into “good birds” and “bad birds”!!
I hope I spend a little more time in prayer and reflection when it comes to the people I encounter. I hope we ALL do.