June 9, 2010

Fallen from the Nest

Posted in Watermarks in Progress at 12:23 am by Tamara

Last week I left work after a stressful day and was heading for the parking garage when I noticed a little fluff-ball in the street.   It was a tiny baby bird, not even old enough to have tail feathers yet, and he was frantically flapping his wings and hopping across the street.  Afraid he’d get hit by a car, I stepped into the street and shooed him to the sidewalk, where I knelt down to get a better look at him.

To my amazement, he turned around and hopped up to me, crouching by my foot and opening his little beak wide with the most plaintive little peep.   I held my breath as he flapped his wings and tried to jump onto my leg, only to fall back down with a flutter of pitiful peeps.  He was obviously too young to leave the nest—did he fall out?

By this time the little guy had hopped back to the street and was trying to cross.  I cringed as a car drove by, just missing him.  What could I do?  If I touched him, would his parents reject him?  Should I take him home?  I longed for my sister, the famous animal rescuer.  If it was her the little guy would have already been in her hands headed for home.  But could I keep him alive?  I followed him across the street, trying to shoo him toward the trees.  He was such a pathetic sight, this little brown ball of fluff, frantically flapping his under-developed wings and calling for mom.

After a good five minutes of wandering around the outskirts of the parking lot, staring up at the trees like I’d lost my mind, I saw it.  The nest, perched on an impossibly high, thin branch.  There was no way I could get up there to return him to his nest, and no way he could fly there without fully developed feathers.

I felt sick, watching this helpless creature who was certainly going to die on his own.  He’d come right up to me for help, and I couldn’t do anything.  Part of me tried to be rational—this happens every day.  It’s just a bird; countless chicks must fall out of their nests and die.  But part of me still rebelled, and I found myself silently raging.  Am I just supposed to be okay with this?  Is this not supposed to bug me just because it’s common? The inevitable verse came to mind, Luke 12:6,  “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.”  I tried to tell myself it was okay, that God knew and God cared, even if it didn’t work out the way I wanted to.  But I still felt sick.

I followed at a distance as his little cheeps got more pathetic, his attempts at flight more desperate.  I needed to get home, but I couldn’t tear myself away.  I just stood there watching, feeling helpless.

Then out of nowhere I saw a flash of red flit down from the trees.  It was a male cardinal, carrying a worm in his mouth.  He flew down next to the chick, carefully fed him the worm, and stood with him, chirping reassuringly as his baby flapped his little wings and chirped back with all his might.  I couldn’t help it—I started crying.  His father hadn’t forgotten him.  He was still taking care of him.  He’d come down out of the nest, down to the ground, to protect him and keep him alive.

Just like my heavenly Father did for me.

I got in my car, and this was the first song that came on: “God is watching over you, as always.  You are loved, whatever you go through—He’s right beside you.”



  1. Mom said,

    Aaww, what a beautiful story! I was crying as I read it! Wish I could have seen the little guy and his daddy. It is an astonishing example of God’s love, and so sweet that He let you witness it like that. Thanks for sharing. I love you!

  2. Mary Hamill said,

    Oh, Tamara, how beautiful. I can just imagine how you felt, and I cried just like your Mom did when I read this. How wonderful, not only that the baby bird was not forgotten – but that God chose to allow you to see it all, as a reminder of how He remembers and is capable of caring for us no matter how hopeless the circumstances may seem. And now, through you, we have all been encouraged too!

  3. daniellecrossett said,

    You wrote about your experience so simply and yet it was so profound, my beautiful friend. Thank you. P.S. You made me tear-up. Good job :)

  4. Ashley Lang said,

    *sob.*… Okay, composing myself…

    It always amazes me how God can speak to us through the simplest situations.. How amazing=)

  5. Tamara said,

    Ashley, I know!! He is so PERSONAL in the way He reaches out to us. It’s amazing to me that He’s busy spinning the world and still takes time to drop moments like that into my life. Our God is a close and intimate Father. :)

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