Look at the birds of the air.
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26)
They came back. All at once, it seemed. I had just put out the feeders and over the weekend I saw hummingbirds, grosbeaks, and my favorite, the Baltimore orioles (the birds, not the baseball team). I was happy to see them, happy they came back.
The goldfinches have been enjoying their thistle for a while, with their bright yellow colors seeming to get more brilliant each day. And the red-bellied woodpeckers have been around all winter with that telling red stripe across their head (on the male anyway). And there are some bluebirds in their boxes out by the field when the barn swallows don't kick them out.
I look forward each spring to the birds' return, watching out my kitchen window, anticipating their arrival, hoping they find their way to our backyard.
I also know they don't need me. They don't need my feeders, my seed and thistle, my orange slices and nectar. They are capable of all that on their own. But I hope, too, that maybe my simple offerings make their journeys just a little easier and maybe even bring a little joy to their lives, much as they bring a little joy to mine.
In his sermon on the mount, Jesus points to the "birds of the air" noting how God cares for them and provides for them. That is another reason I so love their presence at my feeders. They remind me that God also cares and provides for me, though sometimes I wonder if we humans really are of more value than the birds.
I know God cares for and provides for others, too, but I also hope the little things I try to do for others, minor though they may be, make their journeys a little easier and bring a little joy into the world, too, much as others do the same for me. Maybe it is through our caring for one another that God is caring for us.
I do love the birds and I am so glad they came back.