This afternoon I watched as three “Laughing Kookaburras” sat quietly on a fence near our house. I took the time to get some photos of these beautiful birds. The photo above is one of the photos that I took.
As I was watching them and captured their beauty on camera, I noticed that the Kookaburras took turns in keeping an eye on the surroundings (including me) while one flew down to the ground and caught a meal.
Later, I was looking at the photos and the question that came to me was this – Why three? So I did a little bit of research and this is what I found out –
Kookaburras mate for life and live in close family groups, comprising two adults and the older siblings from previous breeding seasons, which remain for up to three years to help their parents incubate the eggs, and feed and protect the chicks and fledglings before moving on to nests of their own.
Wow, what an environment of cooperation and care. The baby bird has the care of many that help parent, protect and care for their needs.
I have been watching lately as people I know go at life alone. These are single mum’s, young people, married mums, pastors, elderly and just everyday people. They are doing life alone, very alone. I have a few friends that are single mum’s – they are having tough times. It is hard on them as they try to be mum and dad to little ones. They do not have the help and support from close family, and are exhausted and bewildered. They feel excluded by the church, too tired to make friends, and have no time to think.
I also have a number of friends that are ministers and pastors. Often exhausted by the amount of care they pour out to their church or fellowship, and unable to afford the basics as their income is getting smaller and smaller. Battered by gossipers, criticized by many and unappreciated by a few, it is hard to find a safe place to go for help.
People thrive in an environment of care, and environment of safety and help. One that is filled with love and acceptance – even if it is also tough love included in that love.
We are not meant to be alone, doing life by ourselves. The bible is full of community, full of groups of likeminded people doing life together. Even the early Christians were encouraged “not to give up meeting together…” and to “love each other deeply”.
Animals get this concept. If they go at life alone, they are open to attacked from predators and they will not survive alone. Yet we seem to think that people will be fine alone.
What are the predators of single mum’s, or pastors, or the elderly? What are the predators of Christians?
Right now, as I write, the Laughing Kookaburras are outside in the bushland behind my house. One is laughing strong and loud, two others are answering. They are letting other birds know that this is their home, their territory… Or they are finding out where each other is. Whatever their reason for laughing right now, they are doing what is natural to them. Caring and protecting so that a new generation survives and that they survive too.
Everyone in this world has a desire to survive the life they live and the world they live in. When I talk to others, one of the reasons they give for going at life alone is that they do not trust others in their community, family, friends or church. That is sad. Each one of us an ability to make a difference in the lives of others around us. It takes courage reach out to others and it takes courage to allow others in. It also takes a compassionate heart to care about someone else.
“People don’t care anymore” is a familiar cry. But do you care. Do you care about others that you come across? It should not be left to the few to do the job of many. Can I encourage you to look beyond your busyness and loneliness to reach out to someone? Indifference is not a good quality. Make someone’s world different, make someone’s load lighter. It is not up to you to change the whole world, just the world around you.
Jesus, while on this earth touched the lives of many. He still touches the lives on many today. The early disciples where known not only for their preaching of the gospel and the miracles as the Holy Spirit worked through them, but the love that they showed to others. The love that God gave them was poured out in faith and works.
Not only do we need a faith, but a working of that faith. Jesus your Savior? Good, show it!! Do you have the Holy Spirit in you? Wonderful, show it? I am not asking for works to make us proud, I am talking about reaching others with more than the gospel.
In Proverbs 31 is the story of a woman. This woman could represent any of us today – male or female. The attributes listed in this proverb is talking about a noble person of character. In one verse it says –
“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” (Prov 31:20 NIV)
The concept of this verse is this – the way she gives is like the very extension of herself. It is like the movement of your elbow to bring your hand out straight in front of you. The very person she is, allowed her to stretch out her arm and give. This is not just a verse for women. It is a verse for everyone.
Your Pastor tired? Is he living on very little money? What are you going to do about that? Do you have single mums in your church? Ask them what they need most and do what they want rather then what you think they need. Do you have elderly in your community? What do they need, how can you help?
Get excited about the lives of others and not just your own. Ask God to help you know what to do. inspire other and pray for wisdom in who you reach out to. Don’t forget to get the person you help, to reach out and change someone’s life too.
I am praying for the change in a few to influence the lives of many. I am praying that as God speaks to you, that you will answer in obedience and with wholehearted commitment and with excitement.
Oh… and use the voice that you have, to speak and warn others. That is important too.