By C.L. Beck
Just to remind you where we left off last week … there was a baby Steller’s jay in the yard that was trying to get back into the nest, and he couldn’t make it. His wings weren’t strong enough to fly yet, so all he could do was flutter and hop. Time and again he leapt for the limb that would take him to safety, but with each try he missed. Dusk was approaching and if he didn’t manage it before dark, he was sure to end up as some prowling animal’s supper.
I stood in the fading light watching him, encouraging him, holding my breath, helpless to do anything more than cheer him on every time he tried to get back home—my heart ached for the poor, worn out, downy-soft baby.
That’s when the thought hit me. This is how Heavenly Father feels, watching us!
We leap, flutter, squawk, and fuss. We run the other way when He sends help. We jump for the limb that’s the iron rod, and then lose our grip and fall with a thud to the ground. But He still sticks with us; He cheers us on—and stands there with His heart breaking when some of us become Satan’s midnight snack.
My unexpected insight was followed by inspiration. I knew what I had to do. It was the only thing that made sense and the only real help I could give. I said a prayer for the little guy. In fact, I pleaded for his very existence.
The chick leapt again for the lifeline to his nest. Failure. He jumped up on the next rail of the fence and rested. His breast heaved and exhaustion showed in the slump of his shoulders. Then, with a flutter, he dove for the limb and … made it! In the blink of an eye, he disappeared into the swaying branches of the pine tree.
I was elated, ecstatic … and relieved. From all the worrying I’d done, you’d have thought I was the chick’s mother. If birds can say a prayer of thanks, I’m sure the fledgling’s parents did. But just in case they couldn’t, I said a prayer of thanks for them.
With the struggle over, I went into the house, feeling triumphant. I was sure the babies would be safe now.
But wait … think about it. Can’t cats climb trees and find birds in the nest? Doesn’t the wind blow chicks out of the treetops and into the claws of waiting felines?
Would the fledglings really be safe? Tune in next week for the final episode!