Here at RENEW, we’ve been having much-needed repairs done on our roof, particularly the flat part towards the rear of the building. One afternoon, the workers came across a tiny baby bird that had been uprooted, possibly by a severe wind storm two days prior. The bird had fallen to the ground, and was following the crew around, anxiously looking for some lunch. The workers waited a bit, hoping the parent would return, but the day was getting warmer and warmer. Afraid someone might step on the bird or that a cat might find it, the crew brought this situation to the attention of our shared-services department, those wonderful people who answer our phones and help direct our emails, who fill orders and help make sure things in general run smoothly.
Animal lovers Marty and Dawn rose to the occasion and took our guest under their wings, so to speak. They researched best practices on the Internet and were soon fashioning a new nest in one of our shipping boxes. Lunch for our visitor consisted of smashed blueberries and some dog food, brought in by Dawn’s family. The dog food is reported to be high in protein and similar in taste and consistency to the baby’s usual diet of digested worms and bugs. Having no prior experience with any of this, we took "the hive’s" word for it. Apparently, the advice was correct, and the bird was soon enjoying a real feast.
After lunch, it became clear that the bird needed more care. It was then transported to a local bird sanctuary, The Raptor Trust, where it could get what it needed to grow up healthy and strong.
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis says, “Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.” (129). We at RENEW had the opportunity to take part in a particularly special type of “interaction” and to reach out to help a fellow member of God’s kingdom here on earth.
Every day, there are opportunities for us to be part of creation, maybe by planting a garden or caring for our yards, or by caring for a baby bird. Love and discipleship, following the Lord in his way of love, cannot be confined only to an hour of church each week. It is truly something that must extend into our everyday lives, be contained in each breath we take. As we do for this one, this family member, this loved one, this friend, this stranger, this refugee, this criminal, this baby bird, so we indeed do for him. Just as we were able to find sanctuary for our bird buddy, let us be ready to seek out sanctuary for all those around us in need, be it a homeless shelter, a drug recovery program, or simply our sincere attention.
Today, keep your eyes open for ways you can be part of the work of God, ways you can sustain creation. Think with broad thoughts, not narrowed by what you may have done in the past or anything you read or were told. Join our Lord as a partner in his ministry and see what could happen. You never know where that next surprise may lead.Lords
Mary Foy is RENEW's Assistant Director of Pastoral Services and project manager for Baptism Matters. She is also a Pastoral Associate at St. Joseph Parish in North Plainfield, NJ.