It was next to the sidewalk in a mangled clump. I might have walked right by without recognizing the damage had it not been for my own kids. Buckets in hand, they raced off to pluck flowers from the soft ground and gather pine cones to take home as treasures. My boy was searching for sticks and when he spotted the forgotten mess, I told him to back away. It didn’t take me long to figure out what it was. Next to the pile of sticks lay the eggs, smashed open and abandoned. The branch nearby and the sound from above confirmed the tragedy. Birds were shrieking instead of singing. My heart broke for that momma bird, helpless against the ferocious wind that ripped her precious family out of her grasp. Somewhere in the chaos I heard my logical self ask, “Why?”
We continued our walk, but my eyes went upward, searching for the birds that wailed. I wondered if they were all momma birds, because when someone’s nest is in danger, mommas are the ones who gather round with their prayers and their casseroles and their texts that say “This is hard.” Just this week a group of mommas circled in huddles around my kitchen, loving on each other and packing lunches for some precious kids whose mommas just can’t because life isn’t always fair. The focus is usually on the kids whose names are written on lunch bags with care. But as I thought about that bird, a different set of names came to mind- the mommas. And that's when I realized how important it is that we ask a different question.
My natural reaction to tragedy is “Why,” but there is no answer to that question and it gnaws at my heart and leaves me raw. Since I can’t answer the whys, I’ve found a question that has an answer- a really, really good answer. The question is, “How?” This is where one momma can do her part in a world full of unanswered whys. Instead of asking “Why,” I wonder what would happen if we all gathered up our momma friends and asked, “How can we help?” When we left the park and headed home, I knew that momma bird was going to be ok, and my logical self was silenced by the power of a momma’s love.
This is a precious story about a momma and her boy that I’ve watched at least a thousand times this week. It’s a beautiful thing to let Jesus show us how.
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