Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Bird We Don't Call Dickie

Since I have been 5, my family has had a pet; unfortunately the last 3 years it’s been a bird. My family has owned 3 dogs in those years, Goodie, Honey Dew, and Lady; sadly cars have hit all three. When Lady was hit, my parents decided to adopt a yellow singing canary; previously name Dickie. The funny thing is that Dickie doesn’t sing, and we don’t call him Dickie. Regardless he sits in a cage in our kitchen and eats seed, while I tell my parents to get a dog.

To me the point of a pet is to be able to enjoy having it. A dog you can play with it, and pet it, and it’s generally excited when it comes in your presence. Or if you’re a cat person, I can understand your passion because cats are like little people living in your house. You have to earn their respect, but once you do you’re their trusted friend for life. But a bird…a bird doesn’t even seem to notice when you’re in the room, let alone react. I think that they’re the most useless pet you could ever have, they won’t even let you pet them! What good is that?

Anyway, the morning we were to come home for thanksgiving, the bird that we don’t call Dickie, wasn’t doing so well. My parents found him lying in the bottom of his cage; with his feathers all messed up. No he was not dead, but he was acting very weird. My parents were obviously worried about him, but they left him in his cage as they went to work.

So later in the day as my brother and I get back from school, we discover the bird sitting on his perch quite disoriented. I have never touched his back but for some reason I discovered he would let me touch him. Not only did I get to touch him, but also he was standing there at an angle, almost a 45-degree angle. So I proceeded to investigate the issue. Apparently he couldn’t see me, and was trying to position himself so he could hear me instead. The poor thing was now blind!!

What was I to think? I have never liked that bird, but the bird had never done anything to harm or annoy me; it just sat in its cage. I was later that night sitting in a chair trying to figure out what to think about the whole situation. Should I support the killing of ‘the bird we don’t call Dickie?’’ or should I want him to receive the best medical treatment that ‘a singing canary that doesn’t sing’ can receive?

I wonder if there aren’t many Christians who we could consider ‘singing canaries that don’t sing’. We think of them as fringe members, and they just come into the church and they sit on their perch and eat their seeds. Then one day we see them and they look like they’ve spent the day on the bottom of their cage; totally disorientated. We walk up to them and they’re totally blind to their real needs, and there is nothing it seems we can do.

I think that Jesus would want us, as brothers and sisters in Christ to take them in and be a comfort to their lives. We should let our love for God and then them pour into their lives, hopefully helping them to heal. Even if they aren’t pouring into us, the body of Christ should pour into its fringe members, even if they don’t bring us the joy that we think that they should.

So back to the bird, I guess I should be supportive of its recovery; hopefully it’ll be ok. If not I’m sure that there’ll be a place somewhere in heaven for my little bird that we don’t call Dickie.