New Neighbors

welcome to the neighborhoodOur daughter and her husband recently moved. They moved, not just across town or to another state, but halfway around the world. Rich’s job took them to Johannesburg, South Africa. After a week or so of unpacking and arranging things, Lori settled in to a new lifestyle. She had been the principal of a very busy elementary school. The demands of six hundred students and eighty staff members occupied nearly every waking hour. Now, she was in a new place. Family and friends were far away. For the first time in memory, she did not have a hectic and stressful schedule. With her husband working ten to twelve hours every day, she now had a lot of unscheduled personal time.

Then quite unexpectedly, neighbors started showing up. First, a group of girls came at morning teatime. They came to the fence that separated the backyard from a large field. Their conversations broke the silence and brought a smile to Lori’s face. They were not neighbors of the human kind. It was a small flock of wild guineas, chattering and enjoying the morning sun. As the days passed, much to the delight of my daughter, they became regular visitors. A few handfuls of cracked corn each day helped to cement the relationship. Golden Weaverbirds, Go-Away Birds, and an occasional Lilac Breasted Roller soon joined the ‘girls’. The gathering was often punctuated by the raucous laughter of the Ibis.

Comforting lessons from scripture began to emerge from these feathered visitors.

God’s Care: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten”. (Luke 12:6, NIV)

God’s Provision:Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”  (Matthew 6:26, NIV)

God’s Will:Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father”. (Matthew 10:29, NIV)

God’s Gifts: “The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (dove) is heard in our land;” (Solomon’s Song 2:12, KJV)

God Has A Place For All of Us: The birds of the air nest by the water; they sing among the branches”. (Psalm 104:12, NKJ)

A new understanding of ‘home’ began to take shape. Home is not so much a geographic location as it is a spiritual place. If we are living in God’s will, wherever we are is home.

For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…”  (Acts 17:28)

~ Brother Roy

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