Sparrow Hawk

Thursday, October 4, 2007
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Luke 21:34-36 – But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. (ESV)

Outside the large window of the croft where we stayed, the birds twittered and played on the short grass by the meadow. I searched to find the source of a chirping sound that emanated from underneath our car, parked out front. There, away from the main gathering of the birds, a meadow-pipit chirruped away to the group as it hunted for sources of sustenance.

I wondered why this solitary bird was hiding under the car searching so close to the croft's front window. The rest of the flock seemed to be happy out in the open, playing, squabbling, flitting, feeding, and vying with one another for dominance.

Suddenly, the group was scattered as a grey blur dropped out of the sky, snatched up one of these birds, and disappeared, stage right. The encircled talons affirmed that this fledgling's destiny was completed.

Such is the outcome for the many naive that do not heed their circumstances. Predators are on the prowl and search for the opportunity to take advantage of what they consider an easy target or a tasty morsel!

The news informs us that, for us human beings too, life can be dangerous. In itself, being a part of the crowd is no guarantee for our safe-keeping. For the present, some appear to be unconcerned, flitting, squabbling, and living in a world of their own choosing. Some will have a providential wake-up call to change their ways — what some would call a lucky escape. Some, like the bird above, do not get the option for a second chance but become encircled by their own destruction.

Praise God for the little bird which, under our car, sought protection from predators that soar in the sky above. He has reminded me of the blessing that comes from living under the safeguard of our Shepherd's dynamic protection.

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice today to say, "Thank You for Your love, provision, and shelter!" We ask for Your forgiveness for our presuming, as children, to take from You unceasingly, little recognizing Who it is we call upon, or the enormity of the One Who watches over us. Lord, we ask You to direct us away from the things that in kingdom terms rate as unimportant. Strengthen us and lead us back into the safety of Your lovingkindness. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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