For the Birds…
Do you remember when you were young hearing your parents say that something was “for the birds”? It was an expression that emerged near the end of World War II and meant that something was “worthless” or “useless.” It was commonly used in the 1950s and 1960s before falling out of the lexicon, but if it were used in today’s world, people would almost certainly be saying that “this coronavirus is for the birds.”
During the past few weeks, I have been thinking about the birds, not as being worthless or useless, but rather as being trusting and carefree. We are, of course, aware of the passage from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6, Verses 25-27 in which Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
We’ve all been doing a lot of worrying lately, and that’s on top of the many things about which we already worried. Maybe it’s time to stop worrying and start trusting. This current pandemic has shocked the world and in many ways made us feel worthless, useless, and helpless, but through our faith we know that we are anything but. We know that God’s grace and mercy and unconditional love is stronger than any pandemic or plague.
As I came to the church on a sun-kissed Thursday morning this week, I took special note of the birds in the field — how trusting and carefree they appeared to be. It caused me to revisit the passage from Matthew and remember that in the eyes of the Father, we are much more valuable than the birds.
So, as we work our way through this crisis and whatever other crises might lie ahead, let us take a moment to pause, reflect, and give thanks. God has freed us from the burden of worry. In fact, when you think about it, we might all agree that worry is “for the birds.”
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong, stay faithful, and be blessed until we meet again (and we will meet again!) — Pastor John