Trying to Be Kind to a Bird

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, October 29, 2014

sun reflected on water

Trying to Be Kind to a Bird

I am sad to say this does not end well. If you are at all soft-hearted, perhaps you don’t wish to read any further. Be warned. I am still very sad.

At about quarter to eleven, I went into the church for the midweek bible study. The church has two entrances: one near the classrooms, and the other near the sanctuary and church office. I usually enter near the church office. For some reason, I went into the other one—the one by the classrooms, and circled around past the preschool classrooms to the office.

I started the bible study a little before eleven. We had a good study—another one in the series on the names and titles of Jesus in the Gospels. A little after twelve, the bible study finished. Everyone started to leave. I went into the church office with several others, and a church member noticed that there was a bird outside, huddled on the sidewalk in front of the sanctuary-side glass doors. I came to look, too.

“Oh, my. It probably crashed into the glass doors.”

I was concerned. It looked like a sparrow. I bent down to look at it, being careful not to touch it. The weather was gusty and cool, and the sparrow was all huddled and fluffed up. I went to my laptop and quickly looked up bird sanctuaries in Chicago. That led me to Chicago bird collision monitors. I called the volunteer hotline.

“Hello. I’d like to report a bird that I think collided with the glass doors at my work.” The wonderful, kind volunteer told me where to bring the injured bird, and also said that it was quite possibly a migratory sparrow, coming through the area. I said I would bring the bird to the wildlife center. Accordingly, I followed her directions, washing my hands and getting a paper bag. By the time I returned to the doors by the sanctuary to collect the huddled bird, I was shocked to see a change. The bird was not fluffed up any longer. As I gently scooped it up into the bag, I noticed it was no longer breathing.

This was heartbreaking for me. If only. If only the weather were not cold and gusty. If only I had seen the hurt bird earlier. If only. If only.

With a heavy heart, I called the hotline again, and spoke with the same kindly woman. I told her what had happened. She thanked me for being concerned for the poor bird. And we hung up.

I know birds do collide with glass windows and doors during the yearly migration. I’ve read articles about it, but actually seeing a bird that collided with a door—that is truly heartbreaking. I know God knows about the flowers in the fields, and the leaves that fall from the trees. As Matthew 6 tells me, God knows about each sparrow that falls. Dear God, seeing the aftermath of this sparrow’s fall makes me heavyhearted. I know it’s a small thing, in the grand scheme of things, but I do feel badly for this poor bird. I tried to be kind, I really did. I hope this bird had some joy in its life, and I pray that it brought joy into the lives of others.

@chaplaineliza

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Go to Visit? Be Kind!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, June 21, 2014

BK make someone happy

Go to Visit? Be Kind!

Sure, I put on my Mom-hat and went to pick up my son this evening. He was staying at his good friend’s house on the other side of town. And because it’s Saturday night, my son asked if he might pop in to a potluck dinner near our house, and stay for a few hours. Being the nice mom that I am, I said yes.

But before we left his good friend’s house, I checked in with the friend’s mother. And with the friend.

Let me back up. His friend—also a teenager—got a serious physical condition that developed very rapidly. In less than a week. Many people were very much concerned, and he went to several doctors. Eventually several specialists. He had a hospital stay, and was finally released.

So, of course I checked with his mother when I arrived tonight. At first I asked how her son was doing, and then I inquired about her. I saw that she looked worn with worry, and I mentioned that. (In a softer, nicer way, I hope.) She was appreciative, believe me.

As I waited for my son to get on his shoes and get ready to leave, I took the opportunity to visit his friend. He was looking much better! I told him so, and asked some follow-up chaplainly questions. You know, about his continuing care, the medical staff’s recommendations, and possible next steps. He and I had a brief but good conversation.

When I came upstairs from the basement, I had another chance to talk with the friend’s mother. I listened to some things that had been suggested by the medical staff. Plus, I urged her to rest and take care of herself. I also tried to be as much of a friend and a good listener as I could. (I petted and rubbed their dog, too. He was so happy to see me, and wagged his tail so much! Good dog!)

The only thing I wish I could have remembered is an excellent piece of advice that I have dispensed a number of times! It’s a prudent idea for caregivers and loved one of seriously ill patients to rest and keep their strength up. If the caregiver gets worn down, the ill patient has an even more difficult time maintaining health and wellness.

However, I am glad I had the opportunity to visit at my son’s friend’s house. I continue to pray for him, his mother, and for his improving condition. May God bless him and his family!

@chaplaineliza

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