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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Perils of a Safe Nesting Place

I shared with you about a month ago that we had some birds who had built their nest in our garage. Click here to see that post.

Two weeks ago on Sunday, Mike noticed that there were, in fact, 2 baby birds in the nest. We are not sure when they hatched and, in fact, we were a little surprised because we hadn’t heard any of the noises we would have expected from baby birds. They were surprisingly quiet.

Being the curious sort that we are, we continued to check on them periodically over the next couple of days and got concerned when it didn’t seem that they were moving and we hadn’t seen either parent in a while. We were afraid that they hadn’t made it and / or that the parents had abandoned the nest.

Then, after a day or so, Mike told me that they had moved since the last time he had checked. And then we did begin noticing parent birds around and about. We began to have hope for them again.

Then he heard the sweetest thing. Mama or Daddy bird came in with an insect to feed them. Once they were at the nest and the babies were aware that there was food to be had, Mike said that he heard the faintest little peeping coming from the nest. Not long after that, I took this picture with my phone.

My research told me that they were Carolina Wrens (research being a loose term for my father-in-law). Once I figured out what kind of birds they were, I began doing some real internet style research on the chicks and knew that they would fledge from the nest at about 12 – 14 days old.

But, we did not know when they had hatched, so we had no idea when they would be ready to leave the nest. So we were surprised to come home from a day trip on the following Saturday evening to two baby birds out of the nest. The problem was that one had fallen into the feed tube of our chipper/shredder (that little small tube towards the bottom there).

We’re such softies that we couldn’t possibly leave him there. So, we set about formulating a plan for his safe release and eventually came to the conclusion that the chipper would have to come apart.

And Chip (as we eventually named him) was freed.

Until the next day when we found him stuck in the recycling bin.

Obviously Chip was having a bit of difficulty getting going with the whole flying thing.

The other one, which we named Carolina, was actually flying quite well and was not getting stuck anywhere. But poor Chip. He just wasn’t ready yet.

I thought about how I had praised these bird parents on their selection of nesting places. How it was so nice and out of the elements. Warm at night. In the shade and not too hot during the day. Out of the wind and rain of the spring thunder bumpers that come through.

Who would have thought of how dangerous a garage could be for young birds trying to learn how to fly.

Then I thought of how our lives are just like this. We look for that safe place. It’s comfortable and stable. Not too much wind and safe from the storms.

Then, for what ever reason, you are out of the nest. And that safe place becomes very perilous with obstacles to overcome that you never would have foreseen. Some of them could be even quite dangerous.

I have personally felt like this recently. We had a safe place. A job with a steady income. It wasn’t ideal, but it was safe. However, we are now out of the nest and navigating a whole new world of obstacles and challenges that we never had imagined. And sometimes, I feel like poor little Chip, unable to fly very well and getting stuck at every turn.

The great part of this story is that we witnessed over the next day or so as the parent birds encouraged poor little Chip and continued to bring him food to allow him develop his flying abilities. And then, I so fortunate to have opened the door to the garage and the most opportune moment and watched as this little chick hopped to the opening of the garage with one of his parents outside calling to him and urging him on. Then, all of the sudden, that little bird took flight and left the nesting place of our garage.

We haven’t seen him since.

As I think of those little birds and them being out in the big world with dangers that I can't even imagine, I realize that even with the perils of the garage, it was in fact a safe place despite the dangers and obstacles that I perceived because it was where their parents wanted them.

Just like those birds, I believe we are in a safe place also as long as we are where our Heavenly Father wants us. And even if we can't fly very well, He'll keep encouraging us and feeding us until we get our wings. There will be obstacles and challenges, but He has us in the palm of His hand. And it doesn’t get any safer than that.

*5/10/09 Edited to add:
I have included this post on the Real Life Blog's carnival "Your Life, Your Blog." Come and join and share your life at Real Life.


Sallye said...

What a wonderful parable. I am so thankful for your faithfulness and peace in the middle of this change. God is so good.

Still praying for you.

Kay said...

Oh Donna... what a great post! What a great lesson for all of us. : )

And the video is so sweet too. Glad the little birdie is finally making his way.

Sarah said...

Wow! Donna this is so precious! And just like you, God will do whatever it takes to help us out of the pitfalls!