God's Creatures of Comfort
God’s Creatures of Comfort
The last year has been a very trying year for everyone. It has been a very unhappy, uncomfortable, anxious, and miserable year for me. I sought solace in many ways such as prayer, reading scripture, reaching out to friends and family, and seeking grief counseling. However, one of the things I found that has been very therapeutic has been watching the birds in my yard. I’ve always had bird feeders around, but I found myself standing at the window for long moments watching the birds. My parents always fed the birds and attracted many, especially hundreds of hummingbirds. So, feeding and watching birds has been lifelong for me.
As I’ve watched the birds, I began to identify different species, many familiar, and occasionally a stranger I would have to research. I watched their interaction with each other, their habits, even their manners or lack there of. I watched what they like to eat, and what was spit on the ground. All giving me something to think about how we humans behave.
Cardinals, more specifically Northern Cardinals, are a frequent sight at most everyone’s feeder year around. Did you know their name was chosen by the early North American colonists because of their resemblance to the red biretta (cap) and vestments of the Catholic Cardinals?
Male cardinals show affection by feeding their females seeds beak to beak. Awww! Northern Cardinals are monogamous usually for their entire life span. The female stays with the eggs and the young, while the male provides food and protection. Flocks of Northern Cardinals are called a college, conclave, deck, radiance, or Vatican of Cardinals. They are so beautiful and especially striking on a bleak winter day!
Susan Nelson writes in A Look at Birds in the Bible, that there are nearly 300 references to birds in the Bible. They are mentioned more in the Old Testament than the New. Moses talks about birds much more than Paul. Turtle doves, sparrows, pigeons are most frequently referenced. By the way, did you know that all mention of turtles in the Bible is not talking about the reptile but is actually referring to the turtle dove?
One of my favorite Bible passages talks about birds.
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I hope you have feeders and are keeping them filled with seed. In the coming articles I’ll share information about some of the birds I see at my feeders and maybe share some tales of more of God’s Creatures of Comfort.