Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Broken-Wing That Was Not: The Killdeer and Jesus



Sunday morning, I arrived a few minute early and pulled into my usual parking place near the front door. Lunch and a marathon choir practice were scheduled for after worship service. As I headed inside with my "covered dish", I realized I had parked a long way from the choir room.

Many hours later, with choir practice finished, I headed toward my car, sitting alone on the far side of the lot. I was half-way to the car when I saw a bird on the ground. It was calling and limping with its wing held at an odd angle. I'd never seen a killdeer before, but I'd heard of the "broken-wing" act, and recognized it instantly. (You can see a broken-wing video here.)

The mama bird was fascinating. She had been sitting on her nest in the corner of the curb. When I approached, she hopped up and did all she could to distract me from her nest. I guess she thought I was headed toward the eggs (which I was, but just for a peek) because she ran toward me, repeated the act, and tried again to draw me away.

Killdeer make their nests on the ground. It's not as secure a location as I might pick, but they have an inborn desire to protect their young. The broken-wing act has one purpose. Draw the possible predator away from the young and toward the mother. 

"Look at me and not my babies," is the message the mother sends. For a predator, the mother bird, seemingly wounded, is an attractive prey, perhaps more so than the three or four eggs she has in her nest. In a way, she offers herself as a sacrifice to save her young.

When she has the attention of the predator, she flies away to safety.

Our Lord presented Himself in much the same way. He was beaten, flogged, pierced through, and crucified. He appeared broken, but He was not. At just the right time, He emerged victorious from the grave, overwhelmed our predator, the devil, and saved us from the sin that threatened to devour us.

The babies safe inside the killdeer's eggs are completely oblivious to the sacrifice their mother offers on their behalf, but it is no less a sacrifice. 

In that same way, we cannot fully comprehend the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf, but it was no less significant, no less essential for our protection, our salvation.

Today, let's pause to remember that Christ offered everything to save us, including His precious blood. We can do no less than offer ourselves to honor Him.

(Link to broken-wing video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5nmzi_mlFXQ)
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