Saturday, May 16, 2009

The bird that should have died

An elderly couple who were customers on my paper route had a canary and decided to give it to our family for my younger brother Nathan. They knew that he was mentally handicapped and wanted to be compassionate towards him.

The canary was enjoyed by everyone and it brought a lot of joy into the house as it would whistle to its hearts content.

As the winter months arrived the bird became cold and died and lay lifeless on the newspaper at the bottom of the cage. There were tears throughout the family because we all loved the bird and it had become part of the sounds of our family in our home.

My Parents were sympathetic but told me it was time to wrap it up and put it out in the burn barrel because the ground was frozen and would be too hard to dig and bury.

On my way to the burn barrel I decided to get a shovel and clear off some snow in the garden area and try my hand at digging a hole. As my shovel hit the dirt it made a thud and wouldn’t make a dent. Eventually I got a chisel and hammer from the garage and I slowly made a hole big enough to bury the bird wrapped in toilet paper and buried it in a mayonnaise jar.

As summer time arrived I remembered that I had buried the bird and began to think about it once again. The more I thought about it the more it became a renewed interest to the point where I decided to go and dig it up and look at it. I figured it would still be just as had left it, all wrapped up and clean but, well, perhaps I could hold it and then rebury it some place else near the house.

It took a little while to locate it and then my stick hit the jar and I dug it up. As I cleaned off the dirt on outside of the jar to look in, I notice that there was brown liquid in the jar and that the bird had turned to fluid, feathers and water. Still I had to go one step further and I had to open the jar to see it closer.

I carefully unscrewed the lid knowing that it wasn’t going to be pleasant and the wind caught my nose and almost made me gag to death with the smell of rot. I then realized that it was truly dead and that I needed to rebury it. It was no longer the pretty bird that I had once known that would whistle the day away.

Sin is like the dead bird. Sometimes we think about the lure of the fun of the world and the attraction that it once was. We know that through Christ we buried it because we were dead to it. But then one day we decide to dig it up, revisit the same sin and check it out to see if it was really that bad. Sure enough we find out that it was worse than ever before.

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