Sowing Seeds to All in Need
One of my favorite places to be is in my dining room looking out towards the birdfeeder in our back yard. I could stand there for hours watching the birds flutter in and out. Usually a red and/or gray squirrel are in the mix, eating seeds off the ground. I have taken delight in discovering the type of birds taking advantage of the free meal. The usual suspects are there: sparrows, juncos, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, robins (although the Robins are only interested in the birdbath). I have also been delighted to see on occasion a woodpecker, cardinals, flickertails, and blue jays. Once we even had a hawk sitting on our birdbath. When the hawk showed up, everyone else scattered!
Today, we are looking at an old-fashioned Christmas card called “The Kindly Robin.” I must say, I think it looks a little creepy, but the message is good. A well-dressed robin is giving alms to a poor little robin huddled up against the cold. The alms is a red berry. This sweet, sentimental late Victorian Christmas card is by the Castell Brothers, who specialized in Christmas cards initially, but became more famous for their beautifully crafted playing cards. They became most renowned for releasing a card game in 1936 after the success of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (see below).
As I think about the bird feeder in my backyard, I feel good that the birds are benefitting from the seed stash. I also know that I have no control over which birds show up and eat. As humans, we tend to be selective in who we show kindness and grace. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the WORLD. That is everybody. A few people who are hard to love come to mind, but we aren’t only to “sow seeds” to those we like or who are like us. Instead, God invites us to put it out there and let all people be benefactors of our kindness. He invites us to see everyone as a child of God, not withholding grace from anyone—grace which we have been so freely given.
Being Human connection: “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer.” Proverbs 11:24
Featured art: The Kindly Robin, issued by the Castell Brothers, Late 19th century