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TITLE: Twitter Stops
By Loretta Leonard
01/08/09
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I am trying to develop several articles on birds and the lessons they can teach us. I personally have several indoor birds and watching them has given me insights into God's character and has challenged me to trust God more.
An insistent sound that sounded much like a chattering instead of a song came from the birdcage inside the pet store. Two small birds flitted around in the cage and the first thing that caught my attention was the dark orange almost red beak. Near the cheekbones was a spot of bright orange color against a soft gray-brown back. Two bright white tail feathers with black markings completed the top of the bird. Underneath the chest a mixture of chestnut and white spots dotted the side and a few black and white stripes ran horizontally across the throat. One bird looked similar but without such brilliant markings. Zebra finches. The more colorful one was the male and the lighter colored one was the females. It seemed like the perfect choice for something to brighten my day during the year I was taking off from teaching.

The bird stand was like a shepherd’s hook and the cage hung near the back of the family room near the brown floral couch. The activity never ended. Constant chattering, hopping from one perch to the next perch, taking a sip of water, eating a few grains of seed and then hopping back around again. The little creatures never stopped moving except for maybe a second. I loved to watch them and it was like having my own tiny aviary except that it was only one cage. The chirping resounded throughout the house and it did exactly what I wanted, it brightened my day.

I began to settle down after the hectic pace of teaching and keeping up with four active boys who were now becoming preteens. The days seemed more relaxed and I enjoyed the time to myself. With the extra time that I saved keeping up with a ton of paperwork and no more lesson plans or conferences, I had time to work around the house. I had watched a few remodeling shows and I finally decided to be brave and handle a project all by myself.

The house seemed more and more like home since we had already lived there five years but it could use some new decorating. The family room seemed dark with the shades of gold and brown wallpaper so I decided to take on the task of stripping the wallpaper and repainting the room in a much brighter color. It sounded easy enough and with a sigh and some grim determination I started the project..

I stripped the wallpaper off the wall, which didn’t come off as easily as I expected, but I worked until I got it all off. I kept the radio playing in the background to help keep me motivated. It wouldn’t be much longer until it would be time to pick up the boys from school. I used my palm sander to test a small area of the sheetrock to see if the area would smooth out nicely. It might take some time but it could be done. I tidied up the wallpaper on the floor and put it into a garbage bag and started to sweep us some of the dust that had landed on the floor.

That’s when I discovered a sight that sickened me right to the pit of my stomach. My home improvement project was dampened by the fact that both of the zebra finches had died. I was heartbroken and chastised myself more than once. All the twitter had stopped and there was no more movement from the cage. No more singing and no more little hops.

In my enthusiasm for taking on a project I had neglected to pay attention to one little detail. The bird cage with the cheerful zebra finches should have been moved to a safer area. I forgot to think about the tiny nostrils and the delicate respiratory system that couldn’t handle the dust and debris from all the work that had consumed me. Why, oh why, did I forget that one important detail?

Throughout life I have always had to keep track of many details and without taking notes on all that needed to be accomplished, I would never finished half of what I did. It was especially important when I was teaching full time and helping my four sons with schoolwork or running a shuttle bus from one activity to the next. You see, I just couldn’t keep up with all the tiny things that are so important. If I didn’t write it down it probably wasn’t finished or was neglected. To this day I have to do the same thing.

Isn’t it great to know that God is always paying attention to the details in our life? I don’t have to remember every little thing from His Word because He will teach me on a day to day basis. He is the perfect instructor. He sees the larger picture of what life is all about and the way that my life will affect others along the pathway. In Nahum 1:7 the words there are such an uplifting promise for each Christian. “The Lord is good, a refuge in the times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him” (NIV).

I may have forgotten to take care of the tiny birds properly and I paid a dear price for my neglect but God cares for me and has my best interests at heart. No matter how hard things become He watches over me, even when I go astray and think that I can handle things on my own.

My God is always watching and taking care of me and He never forgets even one detail. He's always there for me and all I have to do is recognize his majesty. I can learn so much from Him. If only I had taken the time to slow down and think through everything the ending would have had a better outcome.

Father, forgive me for not always recognizing your perfect care for me. And “Thank You” for being there just when I need you most.
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