“So, the task at hand is simple. Slow down. Wonder up. Be more like birds and you’ll be more human.”
– Carlos Whittaker, How to Human
Power of Squirrels
Our electricity is out again. I’m still in bed reading my Kindle on this Saturday morning. So the lack of electricity isn’t a problem for me at the moment.
Yet once I get up, I will need electricity. And breakfast. And a hot shower.
But thanks to our pesky squirrels, none of that may happen.
I’ve only been trying to feed the birds. Just the birds.
But our bird feeder is more accurately a squirrel feeder.
And the squirrels are troublemakers. Not only do they eat all the bird feed in a day, they also dig through the potted plants on the porch, destroying my flowers.
And now, already the third time this year, a squirrel caused our lack of electricity. He crawled on top of the electrical pole in my neighbor’s yard, touched the wrong wire, and POP!
We’re all in the dark.
Are the Birds Hungry?
I pull an orange out of the refrigerator for a quick breakfast, then go for a walk through the neighborhood, spotting the electrical truck. They’re working to restore our power.
I notice on my walk how noisy my neighborhood is. But it’s a good noise. It’s birds. They are plentiful, both in sight and in sound.
While I can’t keep them fed through my own bird feeder, the birds are obviously flourishing here nonetheless.
Just as promised. The memory verse I’m learning this week is something Jesus said.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
I’m not fully comfortable with this verse. Yes, the birds around me have easy access to food. And yes, I do believe that humans trump birds.
But are humans always cared for? I have friends living in chronic pain. I see hungry people around town. I can often feel fear even about my own future.
What was Jesus talking about?
While I can’t know for sure, I imagine Jesus telling me that we humans don’t have as much control as we’d like to think. That we need outside help.
And that help is always available.
None of us can fully handle everything life throws at us. We fall down. Things go wrong, and sometimes stay wrong.
But we’re never alone (even though we sometimes feel alone; there is only one soul per body, after all). When life is out of control, what fills in the gaps?
Companionship with others, grounded in Love, may be our greatest protection to endure the dark.
While we can’t control everything, we do have skills, strength, and wisdom to control some things. And the responsibility to do so.
For the things that aren’t ours to control? We can trust what Jesus said, that there will be provision in the gaps. Not necessarily solutions. Definitely not perfection.
Connection often appears as another human being showing up as Love.
For future uncertainties still ahead? We can trust that support will show up for those too, maybe in the form of people we haven’t even met yet. As the saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
I return home from my neighborhood stroll to find the electricity is back on. I discover there’s one less squirrel.
But the birds? Oh, the birds. They’re everywhere, flying and singing. They don’t mind that the squirrels have emptied the bird feeder. The birds are already full.
And for the moment, so am I.
Have you met new people this year who’ve fed you on your journey? I’m grateful for both older and new friends who are walking alongside me. Share in the comments.
Read more about Human, my One Word 2023:
- Two Questions to Ask about Your Life Clutter
- Are You in a Group Chat?