I was working in the kitchen and I heard the familiar, sickening “thud” of a bird crashing into the patio doors. I looked out and there laid a juvenile cardinal, sprawled on the deck on his back with its feet in the air.
I gently picked him up and rubbed his back, smoothing his ruffled feathers. His piercing black eyes were open , but his feet stayed tightly curled into balls and he didn’t flinch a muscle. I sat and held him. After a few minutes I gently set Mr. Cardinal on the deck railing. He chirped several times and I settled in my chair with my camera to watch. He remained upright, resting on his back hunches with curled toes and open beak. I thought, I believe this young lad has a chance. He seemed to be badly stunned but not injured. There was no blood oozing from his beak.
For maybe ten minutes we sat and watched each other. He pooped a very watery mess twice and once when I let my gaze stray and glanced back, my little friend was gone; without a sound or cheery good-bye. I glanced at the nearby branches but didn’t see him. It was such a satisfying feeling to have helped Mr. Cardinal, possibly even saving his life.
I glanced at the patio doors and marveled at the almost perfect reflection of the yard in the tinted glass. I have a suncatcher hanging to help deflect but realized it does not do a thing, doesn’t even show up. The edging of the curtains are the only clue that this is a barrier. Almost every time I am in the kitchen in the middle of the day I heard the dull thud of another victim of the mirage.
The picture of the reflection does not show the clarity of of the actual mirage.
I started thinking about sin and how easily we are “fooled” into thinking it doesn’t matter, it is ok, or there is nothing wrong with it. It may allure and look good until we crash head first into it’s wall and crash. We are stunned. How did we get here, why did we fail to recognize it for what it was. Satan always has his image stamped in the mirage. We do not have to be deceived.
The Bible warns over and over and over to “be not deceived”. That tells me that I need to be on guard, for I can be deceived. Wrong can look and feel right. Mr. Cardinal did not look carefully. He thought he was flying through wide open spaces until his head crashed on the glass. He never saw it coming, He never even had a moment to duck. I remember one time a group of us gals were at a hotel, walking from one area to another when one of the girls turned and walked smack, nose first, into a large glass pane. She thought it was an open door. We laughed like fools at her ridiculous plight as it stopped her instantly in her tracks with a loud crash. What she thought she saw in front of her was not the truth!
II Timothy 3 warns us that evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Timothy also reminds us to remember what we were taught from the Holy Scriptures for it can make us wise for staying on course with our salvation. ”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness”. (II Timothy 3:16) In other words, scripture shows us the truth. We can put our actions and thoughts against the inspired Word of God for guidance and discernment.
Mr. Cardinal needed help. Left upside down on his back on the patio he probably would have died. But helping him back on his feet, giving him love and encouragement, he was able to fly free again. We also need help. We need a fellowship of believers to encourage, correct, teach and lift us up when we fall down.
Lord, help me not to be deceived or fooled.