I typically ignore thumps and clunks that I hear around the house. Combine a 50-year-old home with boys who think that our living room ottoman is a wrestling ring and that our hallway is a football field, and the result is a symphonic harmony of smashes and thuds. However, when the thud is followed by children screaming and a dog in hot pursuit of something which appears to be half alive, I get a little curious.
“What is he eating?” I questioned to the pile of boys squeezing each other out of view of the small creature lying under the hovering dog. “It’s a bird!” one squealed. I shooed away the dog, and the children, and concluded that the small bird hit the window pane of the back door to our house and fell to the doormat, stunned. Poor little guy.
As the boys looked on, our 10-year-old commented, “Mama, you’re brave” as I gathered the bird into my hands and gently placed him on the patio table.
The bird was in shock but alive. The boys all wanted to pet him as he stood there wondering what had just rocked his birdie world. ”I have never pet a bird before” they commented as they each stuck out their pointer finger and stroked his back as if to release any grudge the bird might have for their harming him. They giggled and said, “He’s so soft!” and “This is cool!”
Mr. Finch began to walk, so I quickly surmised that the patio table height was a danger in light of his recent accident and any brain damage that may have ensued. I gathered him in my hands again, took him to the front yard, and placed him on a patch of dirt under an olive tree, away from harm.
We left him alone to realign his inner GPS, shake off his little bird headache, and decide on his next move. We watched from afar and waited, hoping that he would heal quickly and fly away. His family needed him.
A few moments after I returned to my routine the boys came rushing into the house shouting, “He flew away! He flew away!” Our job was done. I was now able to add “bird redeemer” to my list of skills, and the boys could take “pet a finch” off of their bucket lists.
I can’t help but be reminded of the thrill that God has in caring for his children: for us, for me. He doesn’t laugh when we run into a window of disappointment, free-fall through the air of uncertainty and make a thud from the crash of failure. Instead, he runs to redeem us. He scoops us up into His arms and gives us comfort.
Although I do not plan on rescuing any more birds, I have purchased a first aid kit for pets just in case my savvy veterinary skills are required again. And, the Pet First Aid Guide which is included won’t be necessary. I’m pretty close to an expert now, according to my kids.
Linda Vujnov is the author of Spilt Milk-Devotions for Moms. She speaks to MOPS and women’s groups around Southern California and, on occasion, fixes broken birds.