The little birds chirp and titter, vibrating their wings in greeting to one another and flutter about unafraid of human presence. Many people call the multitude of sparrows LBBs, short for little brown birds. Where I live we have three different kinds and they are everywhere; in my yard, at the feeder, hopping along sidewalks and in shopping center parking lots.
City dwelling LBBs are very resourceful when it comes to finding food. They’ll hop about three feet from where you sit and dart in to grab even the smallest morsel dropped from your lunch. I have watched them from my car as I waited for fast food service, and laughed at their over-burdened flight after nabbing a discarded French fry longer than their little body.
I am impressed by the cleverness of the LBBs to find food in an area crowded with buildings and covered with cement. One afternoon while walking across the parking lot of a mall, I stopped and delightedly watched a bizarre sight of several LBBs hanging from the grille of a dirty Dodge Ram truck. They were eating dead bugs from the grille! By the number of birds hopping beneath the bumper, impatiently waiting their turn, it was obviously a feast.
The next week at a parking lot to a grocery store, I see near the cart corral colorful patches of what looks to be crushed chalk with a few of these little birds pecking at it. I thought it odd and rather sad that the LBBs would be so hungry that they would try to eat chalk. That was until I entered through the sliding glass doors to the store and saw on a display rounder mini sugar cookies died vibrant primary colors.
The little brown birds were able to seek nourishment skillfully and promptly no matter how difficult or challenging their situation. They were cautious and unafraid to look for food in unfamiliar places. Am I at least as courageous as these sparrows in seeking spiritual food?
There are times in all of our lives when we find ourselves surrounded by a world that seems devoid of love, the essential food for our heart and soul. But are we willing to explore new means of nourishment? Are we open to seeking God in unexplored ways? It is easy to become discouraged in times of drought, when all the usual means of sustenance seem to have dried up. I have often sought and received heavenly nourishment through reading scripture, praying the rosary, attending Adoration and
And have also experienced times when I perceived that these were not enough. Mass.
When my heart hungers for God beyond the solitude of prayer, I am often too anxious and shy to move into the world and seek His manna. I become pigeon-hearted and scurry away from any unfamiliar movement no matter how tempting the food.
Maybe I need to pray to be like those little brown birds; courage to seek, cautious in trying, and persistent in my quest to find what will nourish and give me strength for the day.