Beauty In The Eye Of The Beholder

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Genesis 1:21 – So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (NKJV)

In the area of western Canada where I live, we have a bird called the Black-billed Magpie. The Latin name is Pica pica. This bird is a scourge to the ranchers because it often sits on the backs of cattle and picks at their hides to get grubs, etc. This picking, as you can imagine, can cause some very painful and ugly sores.

Others dislike the bird because of its scavenging nature. Like crows and other similar birds, it takes advantage of any meal it can find. It scavenges carrion along the side of the road, but it will also raid the nests of other birds for the eggs or chicks.

Still others hate the bird for its boldness and sharp cry. It is not uncommon to have a magpie sit even on the edge of the backyard deck and shout at whatever it sees. Occasionally I have even seen one sit on the deck just outside the glass door and torment our cat. It just has a knack for being a bird that isn't loved.

As a transplanted easterner, I have loved the sight of this bird ever since I arrived here, just over four years ago. Maybe it's because the first magpie I ever saw was in the park near our house, and it was sitting on a branch about three feet over my head. Not only was it so close, but also it was sitting in a ray of sunshine coming through the branches of the tree. The magpie has a white breast and an iridescent green back and tail. As it sat in the beam of sunlight, this bird just shone. Even though most people disagree with me, I still think the magpie is a gorgeous bird.

Sometimes I wonder if the world sees us, Christians, as many people see the magpie. Many don't particularly like Christians, and others think we are just noisy and to be avoided.

But just as I see beauty in the magpie, so does God see beauty in us. We may not be the most popular of people, but we are still God's children. We are made by God, and, even more importantly, made in His image. When God created the birds, He saw that it was good, but when He made us, He saw that it was "very good". Just like the first magpie I saw, we also have a tendency to shine when we sit in the rays of the Son.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for making us part of Your creation. We thank You for the opportunity to be Your children, and for the pleasure of following Christ. Even though the world may not see us as You see us, we are grateful that we are made in Your image. Amen.

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David Leggatt <>
Wiarton, Ontario, Canada

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