This morning, a chilly 17 degree morning, I went out to fill the bird feeders. This isn’t a task I usually undertake, but as we still have snow, hardened by sleet, and the fact that my father-in-law, who usually tends the birds, is ninety years old, I am the one to do it. Don’t misunderstand me…I love doing it. I enjoy talking to the birds as they move back to a safe distance of 5-6 feet and watch this giant with a purple hat, green boots and many layers in between, bring them much need nourishment. And I know that as soon as this snowy/icy mixture clears up, I’ll be out of a job again.
So out I went and laughed as all the birds, with the exception of the snowbirds or Dark-eyed Juncos as they are formally called, flew away. The snowbirds, however, move a short distance and hop excitedly as they wait for me to move away again.
After I finished putting out suet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds and ears of corn, I headed back inside. After peeling several layers of clothing off (I feel for Randy in the movie “Christmas Story” – I could barely put my arms down!) I grabbed my camera and headed to the kitchen. Right outside the picture window, we have two finch feeders, two suet holders, the stand for the two hummingbird feeders we put out in the summer, and on our porch, a feeder we have filled with a wild bird mix. Across the yard we have a stand that holds four ears of corn and we have been putting a suet cake there as well. These are birds that are well cared for. In addition, Jim grew sunflowers this summer and after it snowed, he put out three large sunflower heads and the birds, especially the blue jays, have been enjoying them.
But as I grabbed my camera, I noticed a visitor that I hadn’t seen since the snow started falling – our resident squirrel. In fact when I walked around the yard, I hadn’t even seen his tracks in the yard. But there he was, not on the corn feeder across the yard, where he usually eats, but right up by the house, eating on the sunflower heads. For a few minutes, I forgot I was holding my camera…he was so cute! I guess he was pretty hungry from the way he was attacking those sunflowers. I’ve never seen anything like it! After a few minutes he slowed down his eating and I remembered to shoot some pictures.
After ten or fifteen or twenty pictures…lol…I started watching him again. It was then I noticed something. Have you ever watched a squirrel eat? When they pick up food with their paws and bring it to their mouths, they look like they are praying. When the thought crossed my mind, a scripture quickly followed it.
Isaiah 55:12 says, You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Nature…worshiping God. It happens all around us each day. Majestic mountains, fields of wheat blowing in the wind, trees stretching their arms in praise. Is it any wonder I feel so close to God when I’m walking through the woods or sitting by the lake as the wind ripples the water. Even watching that squirrel, head bowed, paws together…who am I to say he was thanking his maker for the meal before him?
This brought to mind another scripture as well. In Luke 19, the “Palm Sunday” story, tells of the crowds shouting praises and the Pharisees telling Jesus to “rebuke your disciples”. Jesus replies, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
I don’t know if animals praise God…if they feel grateful or thankful. All I know is that God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knew should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:11)
As for me…I’d sure hate for a rock to show me up!