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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Caring for Doves, part 3

The other night I found two baby doves on the bottom of a railcar. They had been separated from their mother. I was so eager to care for them.. I wanted them to grow up to be healthy. I wanted them to spread their wings and fly into freedom...

I bought them formula and fed them with a dropper. I enlisted the help of my family to take care of them..

The other night, when I returned home from work..I peered into the little box that I was keeping them in..
One of the little birds was toppled over.. dead..

I cried. I cried and cried..and then cried some more..

I had heard that my neighbor raised a baby dove, so I took the other baby bird to her the following day.
I wanted to see if she could give me any advice or assistance in caring for him..

She told me that he was so small that she didn't think he would survive unless we could get him into a  local wildlife refuge and rehabilitation center. She mentioned the fact that such a facility may have an incubator to keep the bird warm.

She gave me general directions on how to get there..and so I went in search of a place called Hecks Haven.

The trip was disastrous.  The entire time I worried about the bird. I named him Noah, by the way..  If you read the other two posts, you will understand why...

I was driving and looking for this fabled refuge center, but it was nowhere to be found. I called the 411 information hotline and they told me that the number was unlisted. They suggested that  I call Animal Services...

So, the 411 operator connected me to Animal Services.  I spoke with the receptionist and learned that Hecks Haven is indeed an actual place, but in order for the bird to be placed in their care..I would need to surrender Noah over to them. 

They assured me that they would place the bird in someone's care. I arrived at Animal Services right as they were closing.. ...I was genuinely worried that they weren't going to get Noah to someone in time, but I realized that I couldn't give him the proper least, not like someone with the right equipment, skills, and know- how..

As I  handed him and his bottle of formula over to the receptionist, I burst out into tears.
I was so embarressed... I explained that I had fallen in love with this baby bird..

I didn't want to let him go, but I guess sometimes if you do love something.. you have to set if free..just like the saying ...

I started thinking that maybe that is why God gave us a choice. Because otherwise, we would be caged birds.. He gave us the choice to love and accept Him...and if we love Him,  then like a bird, we will come back.. we will recoginze the place of safety and fly back into His loving arms...

I began to think about mother's that give their children up for adoption.. ..Giving up that baby bird gave me a whole new perspective.. Mother's don't give up their babies because they don't love them.

They give them up because they do... They give them up because they believe that they don't have the skills or the equipment or the know- how to raise a child.. They surrender them to, what they believe, is  a better life...
One thing that  I have found is that the best love..isn't a life of all of the right equipment..or all of the right circumstances.. there is no formula for the best life..

The best life is a life of love..
I almost regret giving up that bird simply because I loved him.....

I know that to some it may sound silly or trite or trivial that I loved a bird...
but I'll  tell you why I fell in love with those baby birds..

The day that railcar pulled up and I realized that those birds were lost...from the moment I carried their nest into the office and gave them water with a dropper..... I felt as if I wasn't caring for just two baby birds.. I felt like those birds represented all of the children and the babies and the lost and helpless people that were forgotten ..or hurt...or left alone to die...I thought about abused children..I thought about children without the love of a parent...

and it felt like, by caring for those two baby birds, i was making a difference in the world..

Maybe i was..Jesus said that when we "care for the least of these.." we really are caring for Him...
and maybe, I was somehow spreading the very Light and Love of God by nursing those two tiny doves.

What are we doing to care for the least of these?
Just talking about it...? Or getting droppers to feed our neighbors?

One thing that struck me about the entire experience is  this..:
Jesus loves us so much. He doesn't liken us to birds, but to sheep..
He says that many of us are like lost sheep, roving through the pasture..

The sheep in His fold are safe..they are protected by Blood, they are protected by Promises.
But there are those who are lost..wandering aimlessly in a world of carniverous wolves..
wolves that see sheep as food.
But Jesus tells us that when one little lost sheep comes back into flock, that all of Heaven rejoices because that sheep has been found...

He says, "Feed my sheep."
That is HIs commnad.."If you love me, feed my sheep."

Look at the person sitting next to you..and ask..what am I feeding to this person, this sheep?
Am I feeding them lies , a rude tongue, and the word product of an unforgiving heart...or am I feeding them love?

There is no greater force in the world than love..

IF there is one question that you should ask's this..

ARE you feeding sheep?

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