It is that time of year again and we have been kept amused and interested by the many birds that visit our garden and many of them are presently collecting nesting material. We have at least one nest in the making in our clematis though I have some concerns that the foliage is not dense enough to cover it sufficiently. Last year we had a dove construct a nest only a few feet away from our kitchen window on a branch which as in full view of us and any passing predator. In the end it was not a predator that finished it off, it was a strong wind. To be honest it never stood a chance of lasting long enough to house fledglings but sadly it came down with two eggs in it.
We get many birds in our garden and we do encourage them by feeding them gourmet food, gave up on peanuts because they ignored them in favour of other choices and we got fed up of throwing away mouldy peanuts. Over the last several years we have had a number of new arrivals such as jackdaws, goldfinches, black caps and grey wagtails to name some. Even a few starlings have reappeared after a long absence. The nesting pair are blackbirds who always visit.
As I watched this morning, I was reminded of the saying ‘fine feathers make fine birds’ and I take this as alluding to their appearance in the same way that beautiful clothes or robes make somebody look beautiful. For example, goldfinches are really pretty little birds with their blend of bright colours. This is, of course, one of those sayings that can be turned on its head and used as ‘fine feathers do not make a fine bird’ meaning that outward appearances count for little. Jesus commented on appearances when he referred to lilies saying, “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.” Luke 12:27.The flowers have the beauty given them by God, he provides the best for his creation. Jesus also talked about the importance, to God, of the tiny sparrow that he watches over, “”So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31. (NIV). The lesson I take from this is that everything provided by God is good and everything is important to him and we who are his children mean the most. It is also true that the finest clothes do not indicate righteousness and a pure heart and that God can see past the outward appearance or show. We can come to God just as we are and he will love us as much as always.