Through the years, I’ve happily taken hundreds (perhaps thousands) of photos of birds of all sizes and species in their natural habitats. Even so, I’m not as “smitten” with birds as birders are. For example, avid bird watchers have extensive knowledge of birds and can identify them by sight and/or by sound—and can even mimic their vocalizations.
|Bluebird in my neighbor's yard|
But Mr. Al Larson, whom I’d very much like to meet, takes his love of birds, particularly bluebirds, a giant step beyond that of avid birders and photographers. He DOES something to help the birds survive and thrive! In the video* I watched on YouTube, Mr. Larson, age 97, was still building nesting houses for the bluebirds. At the time the video was made, he’d built and placed over 350 nest boxes, many of which he continues to monitor. He estimates he's helped over 40,000 nestlings. Thus, he’s affectionately and widely known as “The Birdman of Idaho.”
As I watched the video again and again, I realized that many of us who profess to “love” birds actually do very little to help them. Mr. Larson, on the other hand, demonstrates his love for them by quietly and faithfully taking actions to benefit them.
As I thought about that, I remembered that the Bible says that when we love someone, we are to do more than just talk about how much we love them. Like Mr. Larson, we are to do something that demonstrates our love. That's what God did when He sent His Son to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. You see, we’re all sinners, even the best of us, and no matter how good we try to be, we can never, by our own efforts, be good enough to be invited into the presence of the Holy God. Thankfully, God saw our plight and then demonstrated His great love for us by making a way for us to live in His presence for all eternity. God sent Jesus, His Beloved Son, to earth to die in our place, to undergo the punishment (death) we deserved. Once we accept God’s gracious gift (Jesus’ payment of our sin debt), then God not only forgives our sins but He also adopts us into His family! As His holy and deeply-loved children, we get to love Him and enjoy Him—now and throughout all eternity.
Amazingly, God did all this for us even when we weren’t seeking for Him any more than the bluebirds are seeking for Mr. Larson. But God, like Mr. Larson, looked through the lens of love and found a way to save us. Oh, how grateful we should be!
Sadly, not everyone accepts God’s gracious gift. I can’t understand why they wouldn’t, can you? Why, even the bluebirds are wise enough to accept Mr. Larson’s gift. They just happily settle into the safe home he lovingly provides for them. Shouldn’t we receive God’s gift to us?
*Click here to watch the video about Mr. Larson: https://vimeo.com/350127646Scriptures referred to in this post: