He loved engines and anything with a motor. Survived Vietnam. Worked the oil fields. He was a man who always had grease under his fingernails, a shop full of tools, and a freezer full of meat he hunted and processed. Dad was a resourceful man who was not afraid to tackle any repair job.
But I never once talked to him on the phone that he didn’t tell me what the birds were doing.
His chair swiveled by the living room patio door, and when I called from Montana to home in Wyoming he would tell me about the latest snowmobile he was repairing for a friend. Then I could picture his chair turning, as he would pause and whisper, Oh, there’s a robin.
The cement bird bath sat just outside the door, and he kept it clean and filled with fresh water.
He was such a busy, task-oriented man that it seemed odd he could have the interest and patience to watch what a robin was doing.
In thinking about my dad, I was delighted to find this passage of Scripture:
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young –
a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
(Psalm 84:3 NIV)
Now look at that –Almighty God with a bird’s nest near his altar.
I’ve seen these two things combined in a man –strength mixed with tender care of birds. Can you imagine that our God holds these almost contrary characteristics?
Fierce and powerful.
Gentle and attentive.
Today is my dad’s first birthday in heaven, and it is not difficult for me to imagine him with a tall glass of milk and settled in near the throne of the Almighty God of the universe –talking about that bird’s nest. Quietly watching what the swallows are doing and enjoying it shoulder to shoulder with the One who said, And let birds fly. (Genesis 1:20 NIV)
Now we must take Jesus’ at his word:
“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!” (Luke 12:24 NASB)
How much more valuable are you. (No question mark.)
Will you imagine God pausing in all his magnificent activity to enjoy and care about your life today?