The Bird

June 22nd, 2015 — Today, while we were in the office, we heard a horrendous bang on the window behind me. I went, “Whoa!  That was quite a hit! I hope that wasn’t a bird.”

Steve said, “It sounded like it.”

So, I stuck my head out the front door and looked toward the ground under the office window. A clump there looked a little like a bird, but also a little like a tiny lump of dry moss. I couldn’t tell at that distance, so I slipped on my shoes and went out to investigate. Sure enough, a tiny bird was on the ground, looking very stiff and dazed. As I approached, it didn’t move at all but rather remained staring into the sky, its feet stiffly jutting out in front while it sat on its bottom.

“Oh, no,” I thought, “Maybe it broke its neck.” But, I squatted down and saw that its heart was still beating and there was breathing movement. How could I help? Should I pick it up? But, if there are broken bones, I don’t want to make it worse for him. But, perhaps this is shock. When a human is in shock, you keep them warm.

As kids, my siblings and I had often nursed wild animals back to health. Gently, I picked him up, careful of his neck and wings, and held him, sitting, in the palm of my hand. He was definitely very stiff, and the only movement was the heart beat and the breathing. Even his head seemed “stuck” at a catawampus angle, looking off to one side. To provide a warm cocoon, I cupped my other hand over the top of him, but not touching. I could feel the warmth coming from his little body. Pretty soon, I could feel his body relax, his head lower, his eyes close, and his breathing and heart-rate slow. But, his body was not producing the heat it had been. Was he dying? I very gently stroked the bird’s back with my thumb and sat there with him for probably 10 minutes.

In my mind, I was wondering if I should set him back on the ground, but nixed that idea because it wouldn’t be as warm and he looked so relaxed in my hand.

“Should I get Steve to prepare a warm box with soft rags?” I wondered. Yet, I just kept holding the bird. After a while, I had an irresistible itch on my chin. So, I quietly and slowly lifted my top hand up off him, and that’s when he opened his eyes with a start (like he had fallen asleep in my palm) and flew skillfully away! He’s okay! I think of Matthew 10:29.