The Empty Birdfeeder
By Theresa Wyatt
Nestled by a small, quiet town was a beautiful park. This park was special. Birds traveled hundreds of miles to visit this park as they migrated north or south. They also visited the yards near the park, like the backyard of a little boy named Jonathon.
Now Jonathon loved God very much. He understood that God made the world and everything in it. Although he loved all of God’s creatures, Jonathon was especially fond of the many birds that gathered in his yard. On any given day, there were blue jays, robins, red winged blackbirds, sparrows, and his favorite, chickadees.
Jonathon had many bird feeders in his yard. He would go out everyday to fill them with fresh seed and to lay out fresh fruit for the robins. Sometimes, he would sit in his favorite chair and talk to the birds as they ate. “You are special,” Jonathon would say. “Did you know that God made you and me? I love you.”
The birds would sing to Jonathon in return. Jonathon fed his birds in all kinds of weather. He fed them on sunny days. He fed them when it was windy and when it rained. He even fed them in the deepest snow of a winters’ day.
“Here is a special treat,” Jonathon would tell them as he placed suet on the sides of the bird feeder. “This will keep you warm.”
One spring day while Jonathon was filling one of his feeders, he heard a strange noise. Nestled in the grass was a baby robin. The little robin looked up at Jonathon and shivered. Jonathan could tell that it was frightened.
“Well now, how did you get way down here?” he asked. He kept his voice quiet. Jonathon looked around. The baby robin’s parents were not nearby to help it. Very carefully, Jonathon pulled his favorite chair over so that he could sit beside the lost bird.
“We will wait together for your mom and dad to come home,” Jonathon said softly to comfort the baby bird. “Everything will be okay.”
They waited and waited. It seemed as if hours had gone by, but the baby robin’s parents had not yet returned home. Jonathon prayed for their safe return. Jonathon knew that God is faithful to answer prayers, and he told the little robin all about God while they waited.
“God made you and me and He loves us very much,” Jonathon explained. “When I am lost and frightened, I pray and tell Jesus what is in my heart. He wants us to come to Him for help. That is why I’m praying for you now.”
Jonathon didn’t know if the bird understood him, but he knew God did.
A short time later, the little robin’s parents found their baby. At first, they were frightened of Jonathon. But he talked gently to them. They seemed to understand that Jonathon had watched over their baby and kept it safe. When Jonathon’s dad got home, he placed the baby back inside the nest. Mr. & Mrs. Robin began singing.
“They seem happy, don’t they, Dad?” Jonathan said. “Maybe they’re thanking God for keeping their baby safe.”
Dad smiled. “Maybe they’re also thanking Him for the kind little boy who took good care of their baby.”
Every morning after this, Mr. & Mrs. Robin sang to Jonathon outside his bedroom window as he woke. Jonathon would pop out of bed and walk carefully to the window so that he wouldn’t scare the birds. “Good morning to you,” he would say.
One evening, when the birds came to visit one of Jonathon’s feeders, it was empty. In fact all of the feeders were empty. And there was no fruit for the robins. Jonathon never forgot to feed them. Something was wrong.
Mr. & Mrs. Robin flew over to the maple tree just outside Jonathon’s bedroom window. The baby robin was with them. Jonathon’s mother saw them from inside as she watched over little Jonathon, lying in his bed. He looked very pale and weak. She prayed to Jesus for Jonathon to get better. “Please Jesus, heal my little boy,” she whispered.
Soon many birds were gathered in the tree outside Jonathon’s bedroom. All at once the birds chattered. Jonathon’s mom wondered what they were saying. All through the night, the birds kept watch as Jonathon’s mother prayed. As the sun began to rise, the birds began singing very softly with the beautiful voices God gave them—the voices Jonathon loved so much. Jonathon lay very still in his bed.
All at once, his eyes began to flutter. He woke up with a smile and said, “My birds are singing for me. Isn’t it pretty, momma?”
“Yes, Jonathon their voices are beautiful,” his mother replied with tears in her eyes.
The birds sang louder when Jonathon got out of bed and went to the window. “They’re praising God with their voices. Remember that verse, Momma? ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.'”
“Yes, I believe they’re raising their voices to heaven in prayer and thanksgiving,” she said.
Jonathon’s little friends watched all day as he got stronger. He was sure that they were singing praises to the Lord.
The next morning, the birds chattered above Jonathan as he poured fresh seed into their feeders and put out apple pieces for the robins. Then Jonathon sat in his favorite chair and watched as the birds ate joyfully. He couldn’t help but smile as they sang. He was happy to be alive.
He loved all of God’s creatures, but there was a special place in his heart for his birds. He started singing with them, “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”
© Theresa Wyatt
Do you like to spend time praising the Lord? The Psalms are full of praises to God. Click here to read about how you can Talk in Psalms while you praise God.