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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Pets (09/13/04)

TITLE: Matchless Love
By Donna Haug


“Quick! Close the door to the garage!” Jonnie hurried to do so with Bandit, the bunny bobbling around in his arms. A baby bird was flopping around in the back yard, somehow having been ejected from its nest and now in terrible peril from Buddy, our big black Rottweiler. Jonnie set down the rabbit to catch the bird, only to have the rabbit start chasing the poor bird too. A sudden shift of focus found Jonnie chasing the rabbit now around the back yard. Scrambling around in the sandy dirt, he was finally able to catch Bandit and return him to his cage. Now where was that bird? A few more hops and pounces later, baby bird was semi-safe in Jonnie’s hands.

“You got him!” Esther called. “Bring him in. He can go in the cage with three birds in my bedroom. Poor little guy. I wonder if he’s hungry?”

And so yet another pet attached itself to our family. Somehow I got the feeling of being outnumbered as the pet population in our house had now exceeded the number of humans. This newest addition to the family, now dubbed "Matches" by his catcher, was wonderfully tame - or incredibly helpless, depending on your point of view. This little one would actually sit on Esther’s finger and allow himself to be petted. Esther now proceeded to hand feed it and began to teach it to fly. Although Matches was a baby bird, he was much bigger than the three other birds in the cage. Jewel, Bits and Skip seemed to look at Matches with some disdain and refused to cuddle together with him on the perch.

The next day at school all the children and teachers heard the story of the new baby bird. Since it had just missed being shown off on pet day the week before, Esther got special permission to bring him in the next day to show her science class. She hurried home from school and went straight to the bird cage to check up on her baby.

At mom’s insistence Esther finally dragged herself away from the cage and flopped on her bed to do her Transitional Math homework. A few minutes later I heard a call, “Mom, I think something is wrong with Matches. I think he’s sick or something.”

Oh, great. That girl would find anything to distract her! “Esther, get back at your work. I’ll take a look at him later.”

Twenty minutes later Esther came downstairs to join us. “ Did you finish your homework, love?”

Her head bobbed up and down but she seemed reluctant to look at me. I took another look at her and saw that her nose was all red and her eyes were watering. “Honey, what’s wrong?”

“Matches is dying. I heard a thump as I was doing my homework. I looked over and he had fallen off his perch and was sitting kinda funny. I went back to my work and then he started flapping his wings. When I looked over he was laying on his back with his neck at a funny angle. He broke his neck, Mom, and he was flopping all over the place.” Fresh tears were threatening to overflow.

My poor little animal lover had just watched a little baby bird die for the last twenty minutes. I hugged her and told her how sorry I was. When we went upstairs a little bit later Matches was laying still on the cage floor. This is not the first bird that has died in our home but it was the one that affected Esther the most. The suffering the little one had gone through tore at her heart.

If my daughter’s heart can be so broken over the suffering and pain of a little bird who had been in our house one day, how much more does my heavenly Father hurt when He sees His child facing hardship and pain. He sees my sickness, my heartaches, the pressure and frustration I may face in my day, and He longs to gather me up in His arms and let me know that it will all be okay.

I choose to trust in you, my Father. Your love surrounds me on every side even when all I see is hurt and pain. No baby bird falls to the ground without your knowledge, not even a little one named Matches. How much more do you care for me!

Member Comments
Member Date
Teresa Lee Rainey09/20/04
Wiping away tears here. That was such a touching story. How heartbreaking for mom and daughter. Great lesson too. :^).
Melanie Kerr 09/20/04
That was very touching. The last few paragraphs in particular held me. We have same compassionate heart as God and should respond the way he does.
Marina Rojas09/20/04
ah, this was a poignant reminder of the delicate heart of a child who loves a fragile life of a bird. Really good read.
B Price09/21/04
good lesson, the last part, is so true..

GOD cares for every creature, no matter what the name is..
and when we see this How comforting that is to know how much HE DOES care for us.

darlene hight09/21/04
Donna what a well told story! And I loved the way you tied it into God's love for us.
Glenda Lagerstedt09/21/04
You bring to life the scripture that tells us how our Father sees the sparrow fall and then reminds us that we are of so much more value than that to Him. Thank you for reminder of His love.
L.M. Lee09/24/04
what truly comforting revelations of the Father's love from such a painful experience.