Love For Your Neighbour

September 8, 2020
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On top of an old wooden box telephone hanging on the wall in Mother Rowe's veranda, a robin built her nest. She faithfully set on the eggs and hatched all four. When the babies were just two days old, tragedy struck. A cat got the mother robin during the night. Mother found red, brown, and grey feathers on the veranda floor when she came out in the morning. Later, we checked the nest, thinking that all the babies would have died from the cold.

To our surprise, one baby was still living. I put the nest into a four-quart basket and set it on the wood cook stove oven door. The baby needed to be warmed quickly while I found worms in the garden. Holding a worm with tweezers in one hand, I opened the baby's mouth. Gulp, the worm went down. The job of raising a young robin had begun.

Our dog, Buster, watched intently. He could not understand why there was a bird in the house. I found that I was feeding this young bird every ten minutes during the day. Soon, I just had to tap the basket handle and the head would pop up for a worm.

While I was upstairs gathering laundry on the fourth day, I heard the kitchen door slam shut. I knew that it was Buster letting himself out. After putting a load of laundry in the washing machine, I went to feed the bird. The baby robin was gone!

Later, when I was hanging out the clothes, I saw Buster sniffing under a small bush. I went over to investigate and found the baby robin alive, cold and hungry. Buster was scolded. He walked back to the house behind me with head down, ashamed. The little robin was put back into its nest, and it welcomed a dew worm lunch.

We moved the robin to our veranda when it was big enough to leave the nest. Buster watched the bird, but never touched it. The little bird would sit on the dog's dish when Buster ate. It would hop onto Buster's head when the dog would try to sleep. Buster never growled at the young robin. They were friends, even though they didn't look the same, think the same, or speak the same language.

When the robin's tail feathers grew long enough, it was able to fly up onto a branch in the maple tree and sing. Buster would sit on the ground, look up, and whine merrily. Even though the sound was different, the tune was the same. Dog and bird lived in harmony, setting an example for us humans. The robin migrated south when the time was right.

Galatians 5:14 – The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (NIV)

Our televisions are saturated with programs on racism and prejudice. I ask myself, Do I have derogatory thoughts against people of different colour, religion, or lifestyle?

Jesus Christ taught us what love is:

1 John 3:16 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (NIV)

Prayer: God, help us to speak and to show Your love to family, friends, and neighbours. Help us to be willing to share the Gospel. Amen.


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Listen while you read: "God Sees The Little Sparrow Fall" (Lyrics)

About the author:

Ruth Rowe <ruthjohn.rowe@gmail.com>
Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Ruth.


    Amen Ruth! Well said.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for this wonderful devotional. It is one of my favorites.


    Good example, Ruth. And your patience in this story is amazing!


    This is a lovely story. I have shared with my family. Thank you for writing.


    A sad beginning but a beautiful story Ruth. There’s a lesson for us all. Thank you and blessings!


    Thank you, Ruth. This beautiful little story brought the message home to me in a powerful way. God bless you.


    What a beautiful message Ruth! And so relevant today. Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings.


    Dear Ruth, Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. You were a true friend to a robin as the dog was also. May we all be a good neighbour to those around us.


    What a lovely message Ruth!
    Thinking about things the other day I realized that my mantra has to be ALL LIVES MATTER. If all were truly to follow Christ’s message, what an amazing place the world would be!! I continue to pray.
    Blessings.


    Dear Ruth:
    Thank you so much for this beautiful devotional! It touched my heart deeply. You put into words what I hope and pray for daily.
    I pray God softens the hearts and minds to receive love for all.
    God bless you.


    Wow, Ruth. What a wonderful story and illustration of how life should be. As all these awful events have unfolded, I have thought to myself if people could just know each other individually and not judge each other as a group, life would be so much better.
    Thank you for writing this devotional.
    (Texas USA)


    Greetings Ruth,
    What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing this delightful devotional, so expressive of showing love and devotion to a helpless little bird so that it could survive. Exactly the care and love Jesus wants us to show to each other.
    Blessings for this writing and your caring heart.
    (B.C.)


    Thanks, Ruth!
    I enjoyed your sharing in todays’ devotion.
    We must all learn to love one another, even other species.
    It is really God’s will.
    All things that he created are GOOD.
    Blessings, and keep up the faith,
    (Quebec)


    Good afternoon Ruth,
    What a heart-warming story, thank you for a bright start to my day!
    I have appreciated and been blessed for many years by this daily devotional and feel like I know some of the regulars.
    I have been to Elliot Lake a few times a number of years ago. I always remember the last time when a bear was walking down their street!
    May the Lord continue to encourage you with thoughts and stories to share.
    Blessings.


    That is a beautiful story, Ruth with much to be learned from it. We are in such a dreadful time and need to be conscious of other’s needs. One may need a ride to various places. I live with my daughter and her family, so we have 3 available, especially for the church. Since I’m almost 96 I don’t get out as much. I’m on the church prayer chain so am a prayer partner. Every day I ask the Lord to “make me a blessing to someone today”. It may be one or more phone calls to those who can’t get out like I do. God bless you.
    (California)


    Good morning Ruth. I read my Daily Devotion immediately after walking my little dog. I am and always have been a lover of nature so your writing today re the little robin really spoke to me. Then the scripture verse really hit home. I live in a Seniors Community and this morning I heard some ladies wish a lady near me a “happy birthday”. I have not got along well with her so never so much as had said good morning as I walked into the dining room, let alone happy birthday.
    I’ll be leaving my room soon to look her up and wish her a happy birthday and reconcile our differences. God Bless you for reaching out through your writings.


    Beautiful Ruth! Blessings.


    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.


    We would do that for a baby robin. But would we do that for a person? Hmm. That gives me pause.


    Thank you, Ruth, for that wonderful devotion. God does take care of us, just as the bible tells us.
    In Christian Love
    (ON)

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