I’d been in the house too long and was feeling a bad case of the frumps. My nose had been buried in my computer. Eyes bleary. Neck aching. My brain quickly turning to quirky. Which could explain this post.
It was one of those days, however, that just calls to you to come out and play.
I called back, and nature and I went for a walk.
Living in Florida during this time of year, when words like “blizzard” and “polar vortex” get thrown around up north, gives me quite a bit of satisfaction. Yes, we sweat bullets in summer when the heat and humidity are so high you’d swear you could personally hydrate a lawn. Yes, mosquitoes are the state bird, but during the winter they fast. Or nap.
The sky had wispy clouds floating lazily against the blue. There were four or more birds, drifting on the air currents. They looked so beautiful with the effortless whoosh of their wings. Falcons, I thought. Maybe hawks.
And then they landed. En masse. Because there was a dead armadillo on the side of the road.
Up close there’s nothing beautiful about these feathered feasters. They look like what they are–carrion birds. Pebbly pink heads that look like someone set them on fire and put it out at their necks.
There’s nothing more efficient than a flock of vultures cleaning out a carcass. Since road kills are a constant part of our landscape, we see these mass feedings on a regular basis.
They’re gross and disgusting. I’m morbidly fascinated by how they devour what something else killed.
They do accomplish a service to all of us. Eating all that could rot, leaving only bits of hide, they keep carcasses from piling up and fouling the environment with stench and waste.
Not a job I’d want. But they do it gladly.
It’s what they were made to do. They’re very good at it.
I was made for other things. Better things.To reflect God in my attitude and actions because I was made in His image. To treat others with respect and value because all people are His image bearers. To love others well because He loved me first.To forgive those who’ve hurt me because I’ve been freely and fully forgiven. To extend grace to those who don’t deserve it because I’ve received abundant grace that I could never earn.
It’s easy to judge those who are different from me. Especially if it’s appearance that’s driving my view. Value, however, isn’t based on appearance or job qualifications, intelligence or social status. It’s based on the One who made us. Value isn’t based on our system of acceptability, but on God’s.
Truth is, we’re all odd birds. Different stories, different talents, different filters. Made purposefully by the same God.
It’s what saves us all from being a little carrion.
Both photos courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.