Passages - February 19, 2009
Wounded Birds

By Mark Bond
Swan Valley Seventh-day Adventist

As soon as the words left my mouth, their irony chilled me. They were just too tragically true. My daughter listened tearfully as I counseled her on dealing with schoolmates who were being less than kind.
“You’re going to have to buck up,” I finally told her. “Don’t let them see your pain. It will only satisfy them, and they’ll come back for more. Wounded birds always fly alone.”
My advice hearkened back to a Sunday evening Disney special decades ago about a bird that was wounded while flying south for the winter.
It huddled in a hillside cave and eventually died alone in the cold. The scene was as depressing as the ending of Old Yeller.
Unfortunately, such a scene is not unique to birds. As humans, we tend to flock around those who are strong, bright, successful, and physically attractive. We shy away from others who are weak and broken, afraid that their brokenness may rub off on us. Early on, we learn to mask our own brokenness, lest we end up friendless and alone.
Canada geese are not that way. When one becomes sick or wounded during migration, a few other geese will leave the V-formation and follow the wounded bird down to the ground where they help and protect it until it either dies or is able to fly again. Then they join another flock and continue their seasonal journey.
Who determines which birds cease flying to nurture the lives of the wounded ones? From whom do they receive their calling?
Many times I’ve driven down Highway 83, past homes of friends or acquaintances I know are in need. Some are lonely, some struggle financially, and some are battling disease.
Someone should help them, I say to myself.
YOU should help them! my conscience responds, and I know where that calling comes from. It comes from the One Who often went out of His way, while here on earth, to help and comfort those who were lonely and broken.
The same Lord Who assures us, even today, “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:30, NKJV). And I’m more convinced than ever that wounded birds should never fly alone.


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