Last Friday, the 21st, the Lord gave us a day full of interesting experiences with His creation.
First the sweet, 3-legged dog, Lexi, came around to visit. Then there was a funny robin looking for a worm. He had the longest legs I have ever seen on a robin. They made him look hilarious. He would stand with his head cocked to one side and then suddenly dart his little beak into the ground and bring up a worm. After a while, though, he noticed me watching him and flew away.
The cardinals and finches were each trying to get the most of the birdseed out back.
In the evening, we went to the weight loss program at our friend's church. Outside the building was a killdeer. She had a nest in front of the building in the little pebbles. She is grayish brown with black and white rings around her neck. Her legs were very long. She came strutting closer and closer to us, calling in a loud demanding voice. Apparently she was afraid we would hurt her eggs.
During the meeting, a little black spider provided quite some entertainment. She would crawl up and down the wall a little and then go hide in a dirty area at the edge of the carpet. She was well hidden. If I had not seen her crawl there, I would have thought she was just another piece of dirt or spot of stain on the floor. She took a special liking to Christy's purse which Christy kept having to move out of her pathway. Christy moved her purse around to the other side of her feet, and the spider went around to the other side after it, cautiously stopping every now and then to disguise itself as a piece of dirt in the carpet. It was very entertaining. In Proverbs 30, God says the spider is small but wise. She certainly was a clever little creature.
When we got home from the meeting, there was a big beautiful rabbit sitting in the yard.
Today, the 30th, God gave us another illustration of his wonderful wildlife. We were getting ready to go to church when Christy noticed that the robins in the tree in front of our house seemed to be in some kind of distress. They were very upset. There in their nest was a black snake. It must have found the babies to be very appealing. One baby was on the ground. But the snake had another baby in its mouth and was sitting curled up on top of the nest in such a manner that the other baby could not escape.
I tried to get the snake off the nest by pulling its tail. All it did was curl up its tail and pull it up to the nest where I couldn't reach it. I got a board out of the shed and tried to push him off the nest, but he just flattened himself against the nest to shield his prize. Also, I was afraid I would push the nest right out of the tree and thus injure the other baby. He was already swallowing the first baby, so there was nothing I could do about that one. It was not really our intention to injure the snake either as black snakes eat mice and also keep the pest population down in the garden.
When the snake was done with its meal, it crawled up into the tree, just about 2 inches above the height of my board. The angry robin parents were flapping their wings and flying at it. It paid them no attention. It just sat there and looked down on me as if to say, "Ha! Ha! You can't get me!" Below is a picture of the sneaky snake.
This reminds me of the verse, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." (Matthew 10:16) This snake, and the one mentioned above in the robin story, was wise. The one after the robins knew just how to balance itself on the frail nest to keep from crushing it or knocking it onto the ground. It also knew how to wrap itself just right to keep the birds from getting out of the nest. It was aware that it did not wish to battle with a human, so it slithered up the tree, just about 2 inches beyond reach and watched me suspiciously from there. It was very alert and very careful.
The dove in the second story was not so wise. She had allowed herself to look at the snake and had become mesmerized by it. She was in the snake's trap and was certain lunch for the snake if she had no help.
However, doves are harmless little creatures. The male dove will sit and coo until his female comes. They stick together and lovingly care for their young. They make beds in the soft, cool places of the yard and garden. But they are not very wise. If you go by them on the road, they will just walk to the side a bit and watch stupidly as you drive by, seemingly oblivious to their danger. Yet they are harmless and loving to one another.
God wants us to be constantly on the watch. He wants us not to let the enemy steal our prize. He wants us to be careful to hold fast to that which we need and not let those that would harm us have the spiritual advantage over us. He wants us to be able to recognize the real enemy. Yet He wants us to be quiet and sweet and harmless. He wants us to love each other and care for each other with tenderness. God wants us to be like both the serpent and the dove.
Thank You, God, for these beautiful lessons from nature.