Bird on a Wire

Bird on a Wire

Upon leaving work this afternoon around 7 PM, my eyes were diverted by a beautiful Red Cardinal bird flying through the air that rested upon a Hi Line wire just outside of our business… I stopped to reflect on the setting sun shining on its gleaming breast high up on the wire. I also saw another bird, perhaps a swallow of some kind coming to rest upon the roof ledge of our warehouse. My truck was just outside the door so I leaned upon the hood, taking everything in. I heard sounds of other birds singing in the dusk of the afternoon…. They were singing to each other, as I imagined songs of love, thankfulness, and happiness…

It seems rare that I pause long anymore to listen to the sounds of nature, to gaze into the starry sky, or think about nature as I did as a boy growing up in the farmland of Illinois. I remembered the time, as a testosterone laded youth, I would take my BB gun or a 22 rifle and shoot birds just as sport. I also remembered the time that as a boy, just South of one of my best boyhood friends, Bob Rubbert, on the right side of the road, going South, (I can take you there) that I took a rock from the gravel road and threw it at a bird, a sparrow, I believe, on a power line wire by the side of the road, and killed it. Feathers flew…. I am not now proud of my actions….

Before leaving work, I had been contemplating the inclusiveness of the triune God that Christians are supposed to believe in. I was thinking of how much God loves everyone, (One God, by the way) and how much he cares for each of us even after our deaths….

Then the bird on a wire thing….

I was reminded of the passage of Luke 12 where Jesus says, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

If not one of these sparrows have been forgotten, I can imagine that God has not forgotten the sparrows I killed… I can also imagine how much more he loves all of his creation, including human beings who have killed each other, and that none of them are forgotten… What love is this, and how can it be? There is no fear in this love. This love does not carry swords around and this love would not even think of making a nuclear weapon, let alone use it, as some have done… How can it be, that we, supposedly intelligent human beings cannot hear the songs of the birds singing love songs to each other in the fading light of day?


Listening is one of the keys of conflict resolution, of coming to Peace with one another…. Let us pause, lean upon something, and just listen to each other… We need each other… Each of us has a place on this earth and are not and will not be forgotten…. Nor, do we need to fear death.

Let us listen to each other’s heartbeats as we hold each other’s babies, hearts beating next to ours, as we embrace each other, as we give our unconditional love to each other, and sing and tell each other that we love you…

Quite a simple solution to the world’s apparently unsolvable problems, some would say, but I say, “a little bird told me to tell you”

Love & Peace,

John Cooper

About jcooperforpeace
Spiritual Director, Spirituality of Inner Peace

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