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View from the pew: March 29, 2002

March 31, 2002|By Jerry Godsey

Special to this newspaper

I was at home on a lunch break when I noticed that our cats, Biggles and Tigger, were going nuts in Isaac's old bedroom. I had heard a bird chirping but assumed it was outside my bedroom window. When I went to investigate what was upsetting the cats, I saw a bird perched on the ceiling fan.

The poor little bird kept flying from the ceiling fan to the window, trying vainly to get out. He would fly to the window, find it closed, and fly back to the ceiling fan. In between passes, the cats would get closer to grabbing him.

Being a man of action, not to mention compassion, I decided the bird needed me to rescue him. I grabbed a nearby clothes basket and tried to catch the bird in his flight from the fan to the window and back.

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Did you know that little birds are really, really fast? And that they are also really, really good at maneuvering in midair? Trust me, they are. I kept missing the bird, and the cats kept getting closer and closer to their ultimate goal: lunch.

I tried using a blanket. I tried sneaking up on the bird. I tried leaving the bird alone. I showed him the doorway, "Hey, Little Bird, look over here. Here's a way out!" I tried everything, nothing worked.

All the while I am pleading with the little bird and trying to explain to him that I was his only hope of survival. Biggles and Tigger certainly didn't have his best interests at heart. They just wanted to eat him. Why wouldn't the little bird listen to me and understand that all I wanted to do was help him?

Then it happened. The little bird, tired from his million and a half trips between the wall and the fan, faltered and flew too low. In a flash, Biggles pounced on the poor little bird and ran out of the room! I ran through the house yelling at Biggles to drop the bird, or at least eat it outside! Biggles ran under the couch, then the end table. Meanwhile the poor little bird is frantically kicking his legs trying to get away. No doubt his whole life flashed before his eyes. He probably remembered back to that morning's worm, wishing that he had savored it a little more. If only he had known that it would be his last meal …

The next thing I knew, Biggles darted out of the living room and headed to my bedroom. When I ran into my room, there was Biggles on the dresser, trying to reach the poor little bird, who was spit-covered and rumpled, but alive nonetheless! I yelled at Biggles, who ran away, then tried to catch the bird again.

Not knowing the layout of the house, or at least being disoriented from his brush with cat saliva, the little bird flew back into Isaac's room.

I won't bore you with the rest of the story, but I will tell you that the poor little bird met his end that day. He has shuffled off this mortal coil, joined the celestial choir. He is an ex-little bird (my apologies to Monty Python).

It struck me that when Jesus came to the earth His whole existence was to try and save us from ourselves. How many times has He tried to point us in the right direction, to show us the error of our ways and a safe way home? How many times have we been face to face with certain death, only to be spared, then go right back to the very thing that almost got us killed in the first place.

Today is Good Friday, the day we set aside to remember when Jesus quit talking about how to be safe. It was the day He quit telling us with words that we couldn't save ourselves — the day He died. Oh, you may not pay attention. You may not listen to His words, but you can't ignore His actions.

On a cruel cross, the Son of God stretched out His hands and received nails to show His love for you and me. His words may be easy to ignore, but the nails aren't. They are a constant reminder of the day that Jesus tried to save us because we couldn't save ourselves. This Easter, find yourself a church and listen to what Jesus has been trying to tell you all along, that He loves you so much He died for you.

Thanking God for His incredible gift … Jerry

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