It has been a tough spring here in Minnesota, one of the tougher I can remember. It’s the kind of spring that’s so tough to get through, boys as young a 8 are now growing beards because standing at the bus stop early in the cold mornings has toughened them up so much they now appear as grizzled mountain men.
I’ve hear rumors that spring will arrive and I can once again go outside without fear of losing an appendage to frost bite, but as of today they are just unconfirmed rumors.
My dog is as confused by the lack of spring weather as I am. She is usually well into shedding her winter coat by now and evidence of her early molting can be seen on the carpet in the basement. Thick tufts of hair are left behind from her midnight scratching sessions. However, after going outside in last night’s snow storm I witnessed my dog head over to one of her shed piles and roll around in the lost hair in an attempt to regain the lost insulation. It’s been that tough of a spring.
Don’t even get me started on the birds. The poor little birds who when they began their migration all those weeks/months ago thought they would be ending up in springtime in Minnesota and not the frozen tundra that exists in their absence. If one listens closely you can hear the female birds yelling at the male birds for making them leave so early. It is as if they say “See I told you we should have waited until Fran and Herb left, but no we had to leave early to get the best nesting spot.”
I’ve watched more little birds this spring sit on the railing of my deck all puffed out trying to keep warm as snow flies sideways and pelts them in the beak. Every snow fall this spring my wife has alway said “Those poor birds, we should really get out feeder set up.” to which I would usually reply with a “I ain’t going out there. It cold and snowing. Besides the birds are tougher than they look.”
Well, last weekend my wife arrived home with a small bag of bird seed which she and my daughter threw amongst the freshly fallen snow. Soon enough our deck was full of small birds hopping too and fro picking up the spilled millet and seeds. The once undisturbed snow quickly filled with the small birds tracks and discarded seeds. Inspired by my wife, I even ventured out into the snow and hung up a full feeder for the birds.
I now sit watching two birds eating their fill at my feeder, and as they make a mess out my deck with their discarded seeds and such, Mathew 6:26 comes to mind “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
This verse often comes to my mind when I watch birds or hear birds throughout the summer. It is that subtle reminder to me that God will take care of me and I am not supposed to fill myself with the angst and worry of the future. Just as God feeds the birds, he will take care of His flock.
But as my feeder rocks back and forth in the chilly spring air a new meaning to this verse slowly permeates my thoughts. I am reminded that while indeed God will feed the birds of the air, sometimes he asks his followers to help. He asks all of us who follow Him to feed no only the birds, but also each other. We need to take this to heart and in our daily lives remember this by offering help to those in needs, praying for those who have no one to pray for them, and offering a word of encouragement to those who are downtrodden.
I remember that spring will eventually come. The eight year olds down the road will eventually shave their grizzly winter beards and my dog will fill the floors of my house with enough dog hair to stuff a queen sized pillow. God will continue to care for and feed me, just as he cares for and feeds the birds.