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Words of Hope: The Swallow

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I am not a professional bird watcher by any means. And I cannot identify all the species, but I enjoy their song and beauty. This year, I got a special treat. A pair of swallows built a nest in a hanging basket right outside one of my windows.

Yes, it was an inconvenience, carefully watering the plant and dodging the adult swallows fly by my head. But you know, it was worth it. I never had such a close-up and personal view of a bird’s care and final flight to freedom.

I thought about how similar the process is to our raising children, putting it in perspective of course. The swallow’s journey to the “empty nest” only lasted a couple of weeks while our children leave home after 18 years on the average. Still, there are lessons to be learned from the birds.

First came the nest. Boy, they did not play around. It was there with eggs in it before I knew it and I didn’t have the heart to move it. And when I was to become a parent many years ago, providing a home was the top priority.

Second came protection. As I mentioned earlier, the mama and papa birds would almost brush my head when I disturbed them. They would fly to a nearby tree and scream nonstop at me until I left the area. I do not speak fluent swallow, but I am sure there were some salty threats hurled at me.

Third came provision. When those hatchlings broke their shells, their mouths were continually open crying to be fed. That’s the cycle of all things, providing for our little ones. I watched those adult swallows work tirelessly keeping them fed. What an example.

Lastly came each chick’s time to exit the nest. It was comical watching the adults screaming at them to fly, fly, fly! One by one, they were finally “persuaded” to take off, fending and foraging for themselves. I wished them well, though knowing the reality of how cruel nature can be.

Most parents try to do all these things for their children. Or they should. There are special circumstances in life however, but the goal should be providing and preparing our kids for life. Time slows down for no one, and they will leave the nest one day.

And all parents must choose how to raise their children. It is on them. Writing from a Christian perspective, I believe our homes (nests) should be built upon a biblical foundation. It is the best start they can get.

Teaching them about Jesus (protection) safeguards them in a way we physically never can. God intervenes on our behalf behind the scenes more than what we know.

The Bible tells us in the Lord’s Prayer to, “give us this day our daily bread”. Most believe it is speaking only of physical bread, but I feel there is a double meaning here. Teaching our children about the Bible (provision) will also feed them spiritually, which takes me to the final point.

Insulating our homes with Christian morals, introducing Jesus into family life and opening young minds to the Word of God will prepare them for adulthood and the dangerous world that awaits.

Choose wisely before pushing them out of the nest friends. The children are truly tomorrow’s hope. Lessons from the swallow.

Think about it.

May the Lord bless and keep you another week beloved. Amen.

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