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Of Cowbirds and unfair things…and life <3

pc/Rachel Maxwell

So I have often thought of writing a book entitled “Keep your Penny” with the subtitle “Why no one ever offers me a penny for my thoughts”

Because somehow a lot of the zillion thoughts that run through my head on a given day, I end up telling someone (hello Russ) or several someones or write it in a post or email so that it is out there for whoever stumbles across it. 

And today’s little view into my brain centers on a recent discovery by our daughter Rachel. Every year they hang a fern on a shepherd’s hook by their porch and every spring a robin makes a nest.

 This year was no different and the little ones were enjoying gently checking the nest each day when they got a bit of a surprise shortly into the family growth progress of Mother Robin. One day the pretty blue eggs were joined by a larger whitish brown one…and then another. 

Perplexed, Rachel did some research and introduced us to the cowbird. 

This parasite bird, if you don’t know, lays its eggs in other birds’ nests and leaves them to be fostered unwittingly by the host bird. 

Sadly, Rachel learned that in the case of the robin, the larger eggs hatch first and so the mama robin begins to feed and identify with the interlopers.

By the time those tiny baby blue eggs crack open, she is so busy training the cowbirds to fly she neglects her own hatchlings and they die. 

Apparently robins are more plentiful than cowbirds and so sorry little blue eggs…the cowbird is protected and you are not. 

Our Rachel fell not far from the tree that bore her, and immediately her mental wheels were spinning with thoughts about this devious bird. She not only googled, but had some posts spinning in her head and I hope she wrote them down for the future when she has time to write like her mom <3

But I gave her fair warning, I was pretty sure I would be borrowing the picture and spinning my own thoughts someday.

 I looked this pesky bird up even further and discovered they do this to other endangered birds so not sure how litigation works in that courtroom, but I can tell you that the whole concept has captured my attention.

This morning as I sat out on our patio and read my devotions and finished the book of Proverbs, as I poured out my heart and let the Valley of Vision prayers guide my own heart cleaning before the Lord, something triggered this new information gleaned in the past few weeks and I had to tell God I don’t understand. 

I don’t understand how He could make a bird who would lay tons of eggs but never build a nest. 

I don’t understand why the cowbird just seems to be designed to drop eggs but not nurture them, flies on carefree while the robin who hangs around to tend hers ends up losing them. 

I don’t understand how the One who knows when a sparrow falls from its nest, watches baby robins go hungry while their mom is duped into raising another bird’s youngins. 

I don’t understand why animals and birds and sea creatures and humans seem to be capable of things that seem so harsh and yet are innate to their wiring. 

So I sat just feeling very sad at all the things I don’t understand that seem so unfair.

I didn’t shake my fist at heaven and I didn’t doubt His goodness. 

I pondered if the behavior of the cowbird came with the fall of man and the whole creation being cursed or if there was a reason beyond my understanding. I often say in my prayers, I am but a child…teach me and until I am able to understand, comfort the sorrow this world brings. 

There are so many mysteries and questions in our hearts and spirits these days.

Things far more serious than the goings on of our feathered friends and their nesting habits. 

Our collective hearts are bearing much heaviness for others these days. 

My desk calendar was a sweet reminder of His tender love for us from Isaiah 43:3,4 and it offered me much comfort and hope:

I am the Lord your God, your Savior…you are precious to me and honored and I love you. 

In your questions and the moments when the way things work overwhelms you, please take time to remember you are loved well by your Maker. Let His love quiet you and teach you how to navigate the harder places of planet earth. Let us be humble to realized that we simply do not and can not know the answer to all our why’s. 

May God bless and comfort you and may you have encouragement and hope poured into you in whatever thoughts are occupying your mind these days. 

With love and virtual hugs, 

Laura <3 

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