You know what else I noticed? He always has friends with him. What started out as two or three, by the third or fourth day had become a dozen, and the next Saturday afternoon I counted 21 on my five foot long feeder.
On our last camping trip, we threw some biscuit crumbs onto the grass outside the edge of our graveled state park campsite simply because I had heard a dove out there one morning and Keith was hoping to lure him out into the open. I grabbed the binoculars—even though I sat only fifteen feet from that grassy spot—and saw a sparrow. No, wait! Not one but two, no--three, no--half a dozen. Keith said, “Look at all those sparrows!” and I answered what I had come to know over the months, “You never see just one sparrow.”
This, of course, made me think. Cardinals? Yes there were always more than one, usually a pair, and when they raise a family nearby they bring them to eat too. They are a bit territorial, though, and will sometimes fly at other birds to knock them away from the food. No one else is supposed to enjoy this privilege.
Titmice? Yes, they come in pairs too. But when other birds arrive, they often sit off in the azalea bushes scolding them with a tiny, high-pitched screech. Even when I go out to add more seed, though the others fly away, the titmice will sit and fuss at me. I keep telling them, “I am giving you a free and easy meal. Be patient!” But scolding seems to be their nature. Nothing anyone else does suits them.
And the catbird? He always comes alone. He pecks the suet and flies away as fast as he can. He is the biggest bird to visit my feeder, but he acts like he is afraid of them all. He never interacts with anyone. He is there and gone, almost before your eyes can focus on him. I wonder how he gets any nourishment at all.
But the sparrows? They are not afraid to sit close together and stay long. None of the bigger birds can scare them off. In fact, the doves, which run up and down the feeder, literally “running” birds off more than feeding themselves, cannot run off those sparrows. I saw a dove try to run at a sparrow one day, and the sparrow just sat there, minding his own “eating” business, until the dove at the last minute had to hop over him to avoid the collision. Meanwhile, there are more and more sparrows coming, and my birdseed bill is growing faster than my grocery budget.
Can we learn anything from all these birds? You can probably see these lessons as easily as I can. Christians are grateful for what they have and enjoy feasting on the word of God. They enjoy each other too. They don’t have time to criticize because they are too busy with the business at hand. And most of all, they want to share.
There should never be just one Christian.
So the woman left her waterpot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, Come, see a man, who told me all things that ever I did: can this be the Christ? They went out of the city, and were coming to him. And from that city many of the Samaritans believed on him because of the word of the woman who testified, John 4:28-30,39.