What Makes Life Suddenly STOP…

Today I was driving into town on an average day full of errands:  library, bank, and the grocery store.  I was a bit ticked off at the husband who wouldn’t wait on me and left the house about 30 minutes beforehand.  And he forgot to take the rent check.

So I dropped off the rent check and pulled out of the landlord’s driveway.  I quickly sped up to 55 mph and spotted something in the road up ahead.  As I got closer, I noticed it was a bird of prey.  I positioned my vehicle for the bird to pass under my truck and in-between my tires so I wouldn’t hit it.  I thought it was dead.

After I passed, I looked in my rear-view window and I saw the bird flapping its wings wildly.

It was alive!

I did what I hoped most would do:  I stopped, turned around, and went back.

Admittedly, I have done this before; but not with a bird-of-prey.  But a baby bird in the road I wanted to save.

Something deep inside of me has a heart for animals and I can’t stand to see them suffer. I almost became a vet except my heart bleeds when animals die.

I drove back towards her, praying another car would not hit her.  I saw her mate who flew down but didn’t land due to a passing vehicle.

I pulled over across from the bird and got out.

I approached.  It wasn’t moving.

Female or Juvenile Northern Harrier

Female or Juvenile Northern Harrier

I gently picked her up (for indeed it was a female or a juvenile as I just discovered on the internet).

I thought she’d claw me or try to fight.

But she didn’t.

She just looked at me.  Immobile in my hands. Completely at my mercy.  Helpless.

It was almost as if she was relieved.

To be off the road.  And in safe hands.

She was soft.

And insanely beautiful.

Now what? I thought.

I had just wanted to move her to the side of the road.

But I couldn’t leave her now that I saw she needed help.

I gently placed her in my back-seat floorboard.

I googled on my phone the local raptor rescue group and called.

They were open and they’d take her.

Phew, I thought.  Now she might make it.

I knew exactly where this rescue place was.  I had been there many times before to show my kids the rescued birds.

I drove the bird there.  I briefly worried she would fly around my car or try to escape while I was driving.  Instead, she merely tucked her head and sat–grateful, it seemed.

“It appears to be a Northern Harrier,” the gentleman who picked her up from my truck told me.

“She didn’t fight me,” I said.

He confirmed my suspicions: that wasn’t a good sign.

He took her immediately to the back to be examined.

I filled out some paperwork and received a case number so I could call in 48 hours to check on her status.

How amazing.

As the lady thanked me, I instead thanked her and slipped her a $20.

For I had almost been in tears when I had picked that bird up.

The rescue lady was doing me a favor as well as the bird.

Granting a second-chance at life that we all so very-much deserve.

Just like Jesus has for all of us.

She is in good hands! (And I pray God's!)

She is in good hands!
(And I pray God’s as well!)

Northern Harriers are birds that fly low to the ground, hunting their prey in open fields.

Easily able to get hit by a passing motorist.

Unlike most birds-of-prey, the males are distinct from the females.  The males are grey.  The females and the juveniles are brown.

I feel God put me there, at that moment, not long after the bird had been hit, to save it.  If nothing else, to at least not let it lie in the road, in fear and panic, awaiting the next hit that would end its life.

For I knew what to do.  Maybe the one who hit it (and the others who passed by) didn’t.

For in that moment, what I had been thinking about, where I had been going, my anger, my frustrations at life–every minor thing that was passing through my brain–STOPPED.

I became focused on this bird and getting it help.  Everything else could wait.

After I dropped her off, I went about my errands and my day.

But I was different.

Not angry.  Or frustrated.

But privileged it seems.

To help God’s creatures when they cannot help themselves.  Especially when its injuries were caused by man’s inventions.

We are all custodians of life.

Life great and small.

And I shall forever remember my brief encounter with this seemingly insignificant bird.

Who is gorgeous and majestic, strong yet precious.

And who might have been overlooked on any other day as it flew along the winds in amazing grace…

But for some reason our paths crossed.

And I feel connected to that bird in the ten minutes it sat quietly in my truck.  Resting…

And I pray it will return to its mate and fly again.

Right where God put it to begin with.

Right where it belongs…

Please support your local raptor rescue group.  Most are non-profits who do it for the love of the birds.

For you never know when one day you will be called upon to help.  And you will need a place to go.

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24 comments on “What Makes Life Suddenly STOP…

  1. Larry Westland says:

    A good deed well done and a message well written…..thank you and my best for your 2013……

    Larry Westland | Senior Vice President

  2. Mary Ann says:

    My dear Atozmom,

    God put you there to help that bird for a reason. He wanted you to know that He will help you through your suffering, your despair, and all that you have been feeling lately. He will pick you up when you fall, as you have so aptly put it so many times. His reminder to you to BELIEVE!

  3. Letourneau says:

    What an angel you are!!!!

  4. Diane Joss says:

    And everyone wants to know – did the bird live or die – could the people help her to survive? As they say on the news – we want closure !
    Blessings to all – dljm

  5. Dianne Brown says:

    I liked this!!

  6. Laura says:

    I loved reading this . . . less than five minutes after writing “Believe you might be that light for someone else” in a note to a friend! I think this is called a “God Wink”, or the secular version of serendipity. God made everything align just so you could be there for that bird. If you haven’t already, go give your husband a kiss and forgive him for his impatience! Thanks for sharing, all my best for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!

  7. Cairn2004 says:

    What a wonderful message of hope! AtoZmom you are a class act and a spectacular writer! Don’t you ever doubt your talent!

  8. Rich says:

    What an awesome story. Great way to ring in the new year

  9. Cookie says:

    Best story you have ever written. I love animals too God wants us to take care of all his animal.

  10. Kay Womack says:

    So beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!! You did an awesome job of saving that bird, one of God’s creatures, thank you!!

  11. Sue Bidwell says:

    I believe you should put some of your writings here in a Christian book…Maybe in a journal called “my life with God’s hands”… At any rate, I think you should keep these in a journal and some day do something with them…I too am an animal lover…God bless you and yours…

  12. Sharon says:

    Very good, I love to try to help an animal when I can too. Thanks for your concern. i love the way God changed your whole days outlook by this one incident. its so good when we just know what we can do to make something better. I had a different problem today after watching a BBCW documentary last night on child slaves taken to pick cotton and harvest cocoa beans? Little children of Africa are kidnapped at £230 E and taken as slaves to work and harvest the cocoa beans long hours every day without proper nourishment or any medical care and with no hope to escape, beaten and mistreated, treated worse than animals. Very sad. Just want to bring this to the table, too. Hope you won’t mind. The one bright spot is that Cadbury is fair trade now. So that will be my future choice. Im still whirling over this sad discovery. Call me naive, but I just never questioned my chocolate source before. And now what does God want me to do with this unfortunate information.

  13. Jean says:

    I so LOVE your encounter with your little bird friend !! I love animals also !! I have 7 rescued dogs and one cat. I am so thankful My husband loves animals, as well !! It is so heartwarming to know there are other animal lovers out there !! They are God s creatures and we are to take care of them. We have learned this in Genesis this year. Thank you for your love of all God s creatures. Also, I want to thank you for your insight on the book of Genesis. I always love reading your insight. You are a wonderful writer. Blessings to you and your family in 2013 !

  14. Jennifer says:

    Really inspiring story sister. Gave me something to think about in my current issues that I’m going through. God always has a way of showing the things that really matter. Praise Him! Glory Hallelujah! God bless

  15. Jeanette says:

    Mary Ann said it well…God put you where he wanted you. Your husband was suppose to leave you otherwise how would you have been able to rescue that bird? My husband is a good man, but he wouldn’t have stopped to pick up that bird it would have been let somebody else do it. Well you were that somebody else. I also agree with some of the other comments about you putting some of your postings into a book. I just finished reading a book titled “A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers”; all stories were short and written by various people about their cats. If you took your short stories and postings and put them into a similar book….Well, I think I know a lot of your friends here online who would love to read it. We certainly love to read what you write online.
    Just food for thought…..
    Oh yes, we would love to know how your rescued bird is doing.
    Happy New Year to you!

  16. Jo says:

    What is wonderful account of God’s work and love for animals, or anything suffering. I am a huge animal lover and cannot stand seeing them suffer. The bird was extremely lucky to have you cross it’s path and God Bless You for your service.

  17. Diane Boulter says:

    I so enjoy all your experiences. Wonderful with God’s help you were able to get the help that
    “she” needed! Please keep sharing with us. Diane

  18. Pam H-J says:

    What a beautiful story . . . you touched my heart which brought tears of joy!!!! Praise God for always being “on time.”

  19. atozmom says:

    She didn’t make it 😦 sniff, sniff…

    She had too many fractures to fix all the broken bones so they had to euthanize her. At least she didn’t suffer by the side of the road for days or get hit again…poor thing.

    My suspicions since she didn’t fight me at all and was very limp when I picked her up. All the bones in her legs were crushed and some in her wings.

  20. Mary Ann says:

    Feel happy that you helped her and she was aware that you did. You did what Jesus would do, and that’s what it’s all about.

    Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

  21. Birgit says:

    I am so sorry. sniff as well…
    Thank God you picked her up.

  22. Marsha says:

    Just starting my lesson this week, so haven’t read your comments,but reading the passage reminded me of a song. Check out “They Called Him Laughter” by Michael Card on UTube

  23. Nina says:

    For the many times that life presents the opportunity to tend another creature – injured, bewildered or just in harm’s way – whether they exhibit trust or struggle there is nothing to compare with the awe that comes with the sense of communication. And all it takes is an awareness of our surroundings and the willingness to respond. Always wonderful to learn of these experiences and the gentleness that we can bring to both life and death…

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