The azaleas are blooming, and our summer guests have arrived. Mr. and Mrs. Robin Redbreast know that raising kids is serious business, and for the past three summers, our porches have suited their needs.
The first year, they decided that the big wreath on the front door was a perfect place. They built a beautiful nest, and Mrs. Robin laid three bright blue eggs. So that we could peacefully cohabit, we placed a sign on the porch saying “Robin Nursery” and directed visitors and peddlers to our other entrance. The Robins raised two beautiful sets of chicks that year.
The second year, they again built their nest in the wreath. Their first family grew up and flew away, but cowbirds discovered their second batch of eggs. These bad-tempered birds are the Robins’ worst enemy. They waited until Mrs. Robin laid her eggs, and when she left to eat, a cowbird jumped in and laid one big white egg in the nest.
What usually happens in these situations is that the mother bird sits on all the eggs until they hatch. The cowbird chick is three times bigger than other baby birds, and because the mother bird hasn’t figured out the treachery, the cowbird chick gets all the food, and the legitimate babies starve to death or die when the big cowbird chick shoves them out of the nest.
So I intervened. Four times I gingerly removed the big egg with a teaspoon. Then it was time for me to leave on an itinerary. What should I do? Coming home to dead baby birds on the front porch would be heartbreaking, so I removed the entire nest. Mr. and Mrs. Robin were very upset! I figured our trusting relationship was over. But now they have returned. They forgave me without understanding why I had removed their nest the year before. And this year, they wisely chose the other porch! Their beautiful home is in a potted tree. Three eggs have appeared with no lurking cowbirds in sight. We have established our respective territories, and each day Dixie and I eagerly await the big event.
So what have these feathery beauties taught me?
(1) Trust. Sometimes joy comes from unlikely places. And even when we don’t understand why, some things happen for our own good.
(2) Forgiveness. Don’t lose a good relationship over something you don’t understand.
(3) Time management. Mrs. Robin always takes three days off between building her nest and laying her eggs. Guess she knows she needs to nurture herself before assuming greater responsibilities.
(4) Awareness. Sometimes we are so focused on “good things” that we don’t see big threats. Pay attention to the godly creations around your home. We can learn many lessons from God’s second book!
Your friend in Jesus,