Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Crow and A Christian -- Some Common Ground!

It was over a year ago that I first saw Pegleg in our back yard where we have the bird feeders. I noticed he (not sure if Pegleg is a he or a she, but I'll refer to him as a male in this essay) was different from the first moment I spotted him, and named him. Pegleg is a crow and he really doesn't have a "peg leg" -- in fact, one leg is completely missing, so he could certainly use an artificial one. But it is highly unlikely that even the impressive Cleveland Clinic could fix him up with one!

His style of eating was different from that of other crows -- he attempted to balance himself on his one leg and eat everything he could find within reach, while other crows would strut around, pecking here and there. After Pegleg got everything edible within his reach, he'd try to hop a few inches to the next grazing area and the act was repeated.

Just recently I saw him again -- early morning and he was among the first of the critters to arrive. We've had birds of all kinds, including a big Pileated woodpecker, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and black bears. It was at high noon one July day some time ago that a black bear decided to have lunch in our back yard -- he reached up, grabbed a feeder with black sunflower seeds in it, pulled it down to the ground, plopped himself down and started to eat. As he sat there chomping away, I took some pictures of him, the closest being about 15 feet away -- with a tag in each ear (clear evidence of what we call a "nuisance" bear) he looked at me as though to say, "If you don't like it, throw me off your property!" I just left Blackie go on doing what he seems to do best -- eventually he ambled off into the woods behind our home.

But, alas, I digress -- back to Pegleg the one legged crow who was an early arrival one morning just after I had put out a fresh batch of seed. He was eating away when 4 other crows arrived, each with 2 legs to stand on. They landed a few feet away from Pegleg and checked the seed situation, but then, one after another they walked over to Pegleg -- each one started to peck at him with their beaks -- sort of taking turns. Poor Pegleg tried to back away -- but with one leg it didn't go too well, and he tried to keep balanced, sometimes using the tip of his wing to help with the balancing act. Finally he'd had enough and flew away -- the 4 antagonists then started to eat and spent quite a bit of time doing so.

So what's the point? As I thought about Pegleg and what he had experienced, I realized that he and Christians do have a bit of common ground. Pegleg was different from the other crows -- though he looked like the others, he was distinctly different and they were prejudiced due to that difference, so they wanted nothing to do with him and actually wanted him to leave! The pecking act succeeded in getting him to go someplace else.

In that sense Christians are:

  • different and because they are different, they are often on the receiving end of hostility from the world. There are a lot of things in this world by way of practices and involvements which the Christian will not accept and with which there is no willingness to compromise -- this is almost certain to invite the wrath of the worldly minded crowd, of which there are huge numbers of all ages! There may be certain actions taken and/or words spoken (which cannot be repeated here) that make clear the fact that Christians aren't wanted, nor appreciated. And if necessary, some will resort to lawsuits to remove any reminders of Christianity, especially in public places!

  • at times rejected and the preference is that they be absent so that those of the world can enjoy themselves -- so, as Pegleg was not wanted and in a short time was forced to leave, so those who revel in the things of this world which so often do damage to a person physically, emotionally, morally and spiritually, a Christian is definitely not wanted in those settings. It was Jesus Who said His followers are to be the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world." In exhibiting these characteristics, the "lovers" of the world and all that is in it become extremely uncomfortable! Hostile responses and reactions are becoming more common as time passes!

Thank you, Pegleg, for reminding me how it really is in this world for the Christian who believes God's Word is indeed true and that Jesus Christ so transforms a person's life that one is no longer considered to be part of the world, but an alien who is very different, just passing through and moving toward a fantastic destination which lies far beyond the limited things of earth and time!

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.......These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me." --- Jesus in John 15:18-21; 16:1-3

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