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  • Writer's pictureSally&Mike McCarley

The Birds--Sounds Like a Movie Title but not Those Birds!

When I was in Oklahoma I lived in the dust bowl. The wind blew all the time. One day in the late fall it was so cold that the wind chill factor was way below

zero. Everything was frozen.

I was doing homework in the dining room and looking out the window while I processed Shakespeare. My entire clothesline was lined up with sparrows. It was so cold I really felt sorry for them. I kept looking up and wondering what I could do for them. They could not move much because the wind was so strong and again, it was really cold.

I decided I needed to go get them some birdseed so they would have something to eat at least. This was back when I had nothing. I was going to school and working part time. I looked around for some change and found a little over a dollar so I headed to the closest store to buy some bird seed. I got a dollar’s worth and came home to feed the birds. They are ground feeders so I put out a small dish of water—fairly warm and scattered part of the seed on the ground.

I was freezing. My eyes were watering. It was freezing on my face. I ran in the house concerned about the poor birds. I sat in the house and read Shakespeare while I watched the birds.

By now my kids were involved. They were sitting at the dining table watching the birds shiver on the line. The birds were huddled against each other in a huge long line.

Then it happened, one fell. Jenny squealed, “Mom, one fell off.”

“No, he’s just going to see about the food.” Was my parental reply.

But I looked and he was just lying on the ground not moving. Another one fell and another.

I did not know why this affected me so much but I could not stand it that these birds were freezing and falling off the line. I was praying, "What can I do God?" I could not leave them laying to rot (even though they could not decompose in this cold weather, they were frozen).

I found a shoe box, lined it with paper towels and headed outside. The little birds did not move when I went to the clothes line. Not the ones on the line. Not the ones on the ground. The water was frozen. The bird seed was blowing all over. I could hardly stand up. It hurt to breathe.

I did not even have a coat on and I was freezing. I started picking up the birds. I put about a dozen in the box. The kids and I would bury them when the ground thawed.

My heart was breaking for these poor birds, my tears are freezing on my eyes, my lungs burning with each breath, my fingers so cold they are fumbling and my heart crying out to God for these dumb birds.

I heard the Lord speak. It was not the bold audible voice, but it was a whisper in the wind.

“I saw the sparrows fall. Nothing misses my notice.”

I knew this scripture. Maybe I only know about God and I do not really KNOW His nature. Before I can even process this though I hear more.

“Sally, I see your heart for these birds. If you can feel this about the birds how much more do you think I feel this about YOU? I know everything about you. I have every hair on your head numbered. That doesn’t mean I know how many you have, it mean more than that. When one falls I know how many hairs have fallen and what number hair it is. Why do you think so little of me that you do not think I know everything about you and love you? I love YOU. I want to do good things for you, just like you want to help these birds. I love your tender heart Sally. Let me care for you. Care for me.”

It was a frozen moment in time.

The intensity of His presence diminished and I sobbed. He loved ME. The revelation of this was overpowering. I had known He loved mankind and therefore me; BUT He loved ME personally. He knew EVERYTHING about me and He still loved me. I never had to worry about anything again.

Time became reality again, I was freezing. I snatched up all the fallen birds and ran back to the house. My kids were still watching out the sliding door and opened it as I approached.

This whole thing had only taken a couple of minutes.

The kids looked at all the dead birds. Jen cried. Then we put the lid on it, talked about where to bury them later when the ground thawed. They went back to playing a game at the table while I went back to Shakespeare.

In the midst of memorizing prose I heard some weird noise in the kitchen. I ignored it but it kept on and eventually irritated me so I go up to go see what it was. The box of dead birds was making a noise. I could not figure out what it was…I took off the lid. (Obviously I did not think this through first.)

When I lifted off the lid to see what the noise was a dozen sparrows flew to freedom—at least as much freedom as they could get within my house.

Total chaos ensued. I was yelling for the kids to get the bedroom doors closed. I was running around trying to catch them. I realized this was totally futile. I did not want any of them to get hurt. Then they started flying into the picture window. I hollered for Jason to open the front door and I opened the sliding door—next I got a dish towel and we started “shooing” the birds outside.

The 3 of us were laughing so hard it was hilarious. We got all the birds out uninjured. Having both doors open for 15 minutes in a freezing windstorm meant the house was REALLY cold. We flopped in the living room floor and laughed over and over. We talked about actually thinking before we did things—like bringing birds into the house and then taking the lid off the box. Ok, I was the one who caused it all but there was no reason they shouldn’t learn what mess a person can make of things if they do not think things through.

I got some rubber gloves and started cleaning up all the evidence of the birds. The kids started cleaning up feathers.

I felt time stop again. I knew He was right there. I listened and heard him say, “You thought the birds were dead. So many times you see something that looks dead and you believe what you see. Let me show you the unseen. Even if something appears dead, cover it in intercession, allow it to warm up, bring it into the realm of your love in prayer, and watch me bring it to life. I will bring you things that appear tough. Your tender heart and strong love combined with intercession will change lives. Let me care for you. Care for me.”

It is a crazy supernatural life and I love it.

Time to pray.

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