I’ll never forget the first time I saw a killdeer, a funny little bird with an equally funny name.
I was 5 years old, and it was a warm Sabbath afternoon. It was a great day for a nature walk around our farm in eastern Washington. I took off my shoes and enjoyed the soft, powdery dust that squished between my bare toes as we walked along the road. Here and there on the ground, I could see tiny patterns of a beetle highway as they scurried about their business. In the distance a giant irrigation line steadily sprayed water over a field of alfalfa. It was peaceful.
Suddenly a flurry of feathers and a shrill “kill-deaahh-dee-dee-dee” rose up just ahead of us. A small white-and-brown bird with long, skinny legs and a very pointed beak seemed to be hurt. It was dragging a wing and fluttering helplessly along the road. My parents cautioned me to stay back as they assessed the situation. The closer they got to a certain spot in the road, the more aggravated the bird became. Aha! So that was it. There, in some loose gravel, was a shallow nest with four speckled eggs in it. They carefully blended in with the stones. The bird wasn’t really hurt at all! She was a mother trying to protect her babies by leading us away. Not wanting to cause her more alarm, we turned and walked another way home.
Killdeer are remarkable parents. They will do anything to protect their offspring. Unconcerned for their own safety, they draw predators away from their young with their broken wing act until danger has passed. I’ve also seen a female killdeer shelter her chicks under her wings to keep them safe. What a beautiful illustration of unselfish love!
The Bible gives us another picture of perfect love. Jesus set aside His well-being to conquer the most dangerous predator of all—Satan. He was willing to do anything, including dying on a cross, to save His children. Inspired by this devotion, King David wrote, “How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 36:7, NLT).*
Do you long to feel happy and safe? Trust Jesus, knowing you can rest safely under His wings.
*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004,2015, by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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