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Lessons From Birds
Photo: Studiomill
A chorus of caws, squawks, and bird shrills assaulted my ears as I left home early one morning. The commotion came from the row of evergreens abutting our yard. Jays, crows, starlings, and sparrows darted in and out of the branches.

 “Miserable crows!” I muttered. “Why do they pester the smaller birds? Perhaps the slam of the car door will scare them off.”

The trees afforded nesting and roosting sites for dozens of bird families. Arguments over property rights, especially during mating and nesting season, were frequent and common. But this, I soon realized, was no ordinary fight.

The door-slam worked advantageously for a bird I hadn’t detected among the thick branches. My brief detraction of the attacking hoard enabled a large predatory bird to escape to a better position. It happened so quickly that in the half light of dawn I couldn’t tell if it was a hawk or an owl. The other birds rose in a cloud of pursuit, darting, scolding, driving him as far away as they could.

I found it interesting that birds who were often enemies with each other had banded together to fight a mutual foe. One bird alone could not have fought him off, but together they did a good job of making the enemy’s life miserable. They demonstrated clearly that a predator was not welcome in their territory.

Appreciation for Crows

I also gained appreciation for the crows. These birds weren’t residents of Evergreen Row. They visited occasionally, presenting a threat to eggs and hatchlings, and I’d seen the local bird posse escort them away. But now the crows generously responded to the cries for help, adding their strength against the larger foe.

I left, thinking about what I had witnessed and how we humans, like the birds, need to vigilantly keep predators away from our homes and neighborhoods. Predator laws are good, but not good enough. It’s every citizen’s duty to help protect others from those who would harm.
The Bible says we battle against an unseen predator. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

We are not alone in the battle, for God is with us. But He has also given us human allies. Churches, schools, the “neighborhood” of different faiths and God-fearing citizens make up the “army” by which we may fight the invasions of evil. One person alone cannot fight effectively, but many banded together in a just cause can make themselves known and heard. When the enemy of souls is trying to capture one of our children or wound one of our fellows, we need to surround the embattled individuals with support and shield them with love.
“The Adversary” loves to hide within the “branches” of our homes through various media, hurtful conversations, and un-lovely behavior.

“How much,” I mused, “we can learn from birds!"

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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