Pied Wagtails

Saturday, January 12, 2008
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Psalm 84:3-7 – Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. (ESV)

I walked into the town centre for my lunch break, at dusk, on my late night at work this week. I noticed a row of trees covered with tobacco-brown leaves ready to drop. I thought about how many times I had walked through the pedestrian precinct, not really noticing the trees; I walked on automatic pilot.

It was only the noise of the birds that drew my attention to the trees. I looked up, to watch — and I expected to see hundreds of starlings making a raucous noise. Much to my surprise, however, the trees were full of pied wagtails — with not a starling in sight. As I looked more closely, they were lined up all along the gutters of the bordering buildings. They flitted to and fro, off the gutters and onto the trees. With a more melodic sound, they came together, watched out for one another, and vied for who was king of the castle!

One often sees pied wagtails, in ones and twos, around the countryside and in the gardens — but never before have I seen them roost together as a colony in the middle of town. Obviously, they found safety and comfort in being together.

How about us? Are we feeling alone, just in ones and twos, or are we aware that we are a part of a great multitude of chosen people appointed to come together? One day, we will find rest, companionship, and harmony as a part of the great multitude of witnesses in heaven. Meanwhile, we need to be a part of the great multitude of disciples on earth, both at church and at home. We are to look after one another, to encourage each other to run the race to win, and to testify to His goodness watching over us, which ensures us a place of safety in our daily lives.

Prayer: Lord, no matter where we are or what our circumstances may be, You are always with us, watching out for us, as we rest in Your protective care. Lord, we often find ourselves alone in ones and twos and isolated. Please show us the way back to Your throng of worshippers today. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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