Thursday, August 2, 2012

In the Gutter

While working in my office, I could hear the sound of wings flapping. This was odd because it sounded loud and very close, but the windows were closed. Since I assumed there was not a bird in the office with me, I looked out the window…but I saw and heard nothing. I went back to the computer but I heard it again. This time I got up and looked out the window…again I saw and heard nothing. Got back to work. I heard it again several more times but simply chalked it up to the wind (the sky was getting black and it had turned windy, preparing for what would eventually amount to a do-nothing “storm”).

I suddenly remembered that it was trash day so I called the 11yo to collect the household trash and haul it out to the curb. He ran back in the house. “Mom, can you come here for a minute?” When I got outside, he was staring up at the house, in the same area where I had been hearing noises from the inside. 

“Mom, I think there’s a bird stuck in the gutter.” And then I heard it…a frantic hopping, claw-scratching, panic-ladden sound of a bird moving around the section of gutter at the front of our house. The only downspouts ran underground, which weren’t going to lead to a better outcome for the bird.  I could only imagine how fast that tiny little heart was pounding.

I stood there staring at the gutters, trying to figure out how it had gotten in. And, more importantly, how was I going to get it out.

I listened to the bird struggle. My mind raced: go get the ladder and …then do what? Start ripping off shingles? Try to pry the end cap off the gutter? What were the possibilities?

Staring at the front of the house, I simply didn’t know what to do. I was concerned that more than anything my involvement would cause the bird to have a heart attack and die on the spot. Not that I wasn’t concerned for the bird’s well-being, but I was also concerned with how a dead animal in the hot sun right was going to smell, especially by my front door.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I prayed. “God, you know how this bird got in there. You know how it can get out. I am not in control of this, but I know you are.” And I turned and walked away.

As I was walking into the house, my 11yo yelled, “Mom! It came out. Right through that little hole. It was a sparrow!”

I looked at where he pointed – there was a little gap in the covering right at the bend in the gutter. And that’s where she found her escape.

Isn’t that just like God? A situation I could not control and He knew all about it. He knew how she got into that situation and He knew how to get her out. He didn't need me telling Him what to do (as I am prone to do...that "leadership" thing isn't always what I should be displaying). He took care of it without me stepping in and making a bigger mess of things, as I more often than not, tend to do. I have to assume that if I had chosen to involve myself, part of the gutter would have been hanging off the house, there probably would have been a dead bird stuck in an inaccessible spot, and the repair bill would have sent me over the edge.

And the end result would not have been God’s plan.

That tiny, seemingly-insignificant creature…it was not in His plan for her to meet an untimely demise in my gutter on that day. And more importantly He reminded me that though He cares for that bird, He listens to my prayers and He cares for me even more.

“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31

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