Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Softly and Tenderly"

A number of years ago, while vacationing in the Ozarks with my twin sister and her family, my daughter stumbled upon a wandering baby bird. A fierce storm had moved through the night before, and by all indications, the little bird had been blown from his nest, located in one of the tall trees surrounding our cottage.

Not sure what to do with a motherless baby bird, we gathered some grass and twigs and placed him atop one of the picnic tables on our high-rise deck. It was the best we could offer, but the little bird seemed quite perplexed on his bed of spiky twigs. He knew he didn't belong.

Dinner time came, and while my brother-in-law flipped burgers on the grill, my sister videotaped the little bird.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, large drops of rain began to fall. The sky darkened, and in the distance, the sound of thunder rumbled across the hills. Another storm was moving in.

While we debated what to do with our unexpected visitor, the baby bird hopped off his make-shift nest, skittered across the picnic table, tumbled to the deck below and wobbled clumsily to the edge. Before we could stop him, he flapped his wings and sashayed to the ground, some 30-feet down. A suicide attempt, perhaps?

Not hardly.

There, on the trunk of one of the trees, was the little bird’s mother…chirping for all she was worth. A storm was brewing. She was worried. Her baby was lost.

Amazingly, even over our noisy chatter and the sizzling meat, the little bird had heard his mother calling. Now, he would follow her home.

As I watched the mother bird leading her little one up the trunk of the tall, tall tree, I marveled at God’s creation and pondered the importance parents play in the lives of their young.

I also thought of my Good Shepherd, and how he calls out to me whenever I'm drawn away by the winds of the world that blow. I might not grasp the danger of my wanderings, and I might not even care. But the Good Shepherd loves me dearly, and he won't rest until I'm safe with him at home. ♦

My Prayer: Dear God, as the little bird so eagerly responded to his mother's frantic chirping, may I eagerly come running whenever you call.

Linking to Spiritual Sundays, where inspiration can be found.


  1. Beautiful and full of meaning. Thank you.

  2. His eye is on the sparrow
    and i know He watches me!
    Thank you Gayle for this lovely post!

  3. I remember this so well. Loved reading about it again. So rich.

  4. That was so lovely. Have a blessed Sunday.

  5. This was a beautiful story. I'm always amazed at the instincts he instills in all of his creatures to care for their own.

  6. what a beautiful inspiring story... thank you for sharing!!


  7. This is an awesome illustration. Wow! "Softly and Tenderly" was the hymn that our church was singing the morning I went to the altar to give my heart to Jesus when I was just a child.

  8. This is the most beautiful thing I've heard in a long time. What a wonderful lesson for your family and now for all who are reading your account. I love the way you write. Makes me feel like I'm right there on the scene.