by Polly Gwinn, October 28, 2007

West Texas is well known for its sudden, furious wind storms, seemingly coming from nowhere, causing havoc in the middle of the night. These short lived storms leave broken limbs, leaves and tangled trash in their wake. One beautiful spring day, after one such night visitor, among the fallen debris in my yard, I found what I thought was a destroyed bird nest. Noticing a mama bird swooping down, I watched as she fed a baby bird that was trapped in the grounded nest. I went about my morning chores, trying to block out the image of the helpless bird but compassion (actually more curiosity) got the better of me. I knew the faithful, although futile, feedings from the mama bird only meant a “fattened meal” for the stray cats who were lurking close by. Well, finally frustration of the sure fate of the little bird took over and clad in long padded gloves and armed with and old pair of cooking tongs, I ventured out to restore the nest, bird intact, to the tree. Now this little tyke could not fly, even though his tiny wings were flapping furiously, but he could sprint faster than I could grab. Meanwhile the mama bird and a couple of her friends, probably old maid aunts, were not about to give up this baby without a fight, having no understanding that I was a “friend in need”, they screeched and swirled around my head (very close I might add). I skillfully out-maneuvered their swooping dives, captured the fledgling, poked him back into the nest and stuffed the two onto the lowest branch of the tree. Now you would think that with all the racket and ruckus the other birds made during this rescue that there would be rejoicing among them as they welcomed the saved back into the flock (Luke 15:7). Not so! You would think that somehow they would know that he had been snatched from the jaws of a hungry cat or the crunch of a car tire and be grateful (Jude 22-23). Not so! Ok. I know that birds cannot do that but wouldn’t you think they would go and attend to the little bird? Not so there either! The once populated tree was vacated except for the one crying for acceptance (or a worm) from friends and family. He was shunned, ignored, forsaken and alone all because an outsider, with good intentions, TOUCHED HIM.

Strange little story? There is one just as strange recorded in John 9:1-38. “As He (Jesus) went along, He saw a man blind from birth”. Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud and put it on the blind man’s eyes. Jesus then told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam, which the man did, and came home seeing. The first “swoop” upon Jesus came from His own disciples. When first encountering the blind man they peppered Jesus with questions as to who sinned, the man or his parents, to cause the blindness. Jesus answered; “this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life”. God was working through His Son to bring the blind man out of darkness (Isaiah 61:1b). You would think that the neighbors and those who had been “feeding and guiding” the blind man would be rejoicing that he had received his sight. Not so! They questioned each other whether he was indeed the same man; they demanded that he tell them how his eyes were opened. Since he could not produce the Man who healed him nor proof that there was such a Man, they did not believe him. The miraculous healing was turned into an all out debate between the Pharisees. Some saying that since Jesus healed on the Sabbath (which was illegal by their law) He was not from God. Others, believing the miracle, declared that a sinner could never do such things so they were divided. Not believing the man when he told them he had been blind from birth, they sent for his parents (talk about hard-headed). Now I don’t know about you but if my son had been sightless from birth and suddenly could see, I would have been “blinded” by tears of joy and relief. Not the case here! Being afraid of being put out of the Synagogue by the Jews is they said that Jesus was the Christ; they left their son to defend himself. He not only defended himself and Jesus but sarcastically rebuffed the Pharisees’ relentless questioning (John 9:25-33). They were outraged and threw him out!

Just like the little bird he was shunned, forsaken, abandoned and alone all because an outsider, with good intentions TOUCHED HIM. Ah, but what a touch! This touch from the Savior, had snatched the blind man from the fire and saved him from the devil’s snare (2 Timothy 2:26, Jude 23)! Jesus said that neither the man nor his parents were sinners thus causing the blindness (John 9:3), but never think the devil will not use such as this to trap you if allowed. Just look what a stir he caused among the Pharisees.

A couple of days after I poked the nest and occupant back into the tree I went looking for the little bird. There he was, perched safely in the tree, still alone and looking a bit weary. After Jesus heard that “they had thrown him out” He found the sighted man. Jesus asked if he believed in the Son of Man and explained that the Healer was He, standing before him, the man believed and worshiped Him (John 9:35-38). I will not try to convince you that the pitiful little bird recognized me as his “savior” and flapped his wings in a grateful salute; as a matter of fact I do not even know what happened to him. After checking the cats for smug smiles and bits of feathers stuck to their chin whiskers and finding none, I chose to believe the bird found strength to fly away. The most wonderful parallel to this story comes from Isaiah 40:29-31: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak…..those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary and they will walk and not be faint”. Whether you are spiritually blind or physically blind, Jesus Christ has been sent to heal you (Isaiah 61:1-3). “I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me” (Acts 27:25). Be a Berean and receive this message with eagerness, examining the scripture to see if what I write is true (Acts 17:11), that each of you might testify to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).

The Christian Counter