It happens with birds. And it happens with people. That phenomenon called “pecking order.”
Have you ever watched birds taking turns at a feeder? Just spend a few minutes observing, and you’ll quickly understand the concept. And you’ll see how much it reminds you of life!
Next to the screened porch at my home hangs a Yankee Flipper feeder filled with the equivalent of “bird caviar.”
And it provides a fascinating study in behavior.
The birds range from the smallest to the largest…from chickadees, finches and sparrows to cardinals, morning doves and woodpeckers.
Sometimes, I’ll even have a rare visit by my absolute favorite: the bluebird.
Pecking order is an amazing thing to observe. It’s defined as a “basic pattern of social organization in which each bird pecks another lower in the scale without fear of retaliation and submits to pecking by one of higher rank.”
Sometimes, a smaller bird immediately flies off at the sight of a larger bird.
And some little ones are more stubborn, refusing to cede their perch until receiving a few well-placed pecks from a bigger cousin.
Sometimes, birds of equivalent size tolerate feeding concurrently.
And sometimes, bullies emerge to stake full claim to the feeder.
Some birds, like cardinals, don’t even like even their own kind much.
It’s more subtle.
It might be based on wealth or possessions.
It might be based on status or position.
Even worse, it might be based on skin color, age or weight.
And while we’re not birds, it’s so easy to behave like we are.
As I’ve watched and thought about pecking order, I’ve wondered:
Challenging questions…and here’s one more:
Like an ordinary little sparrow?
-You’re might feel welcomed, but there are no reserved seats held for you.
-You’re know you’re faithful and reliable, but you feel so ordinary. Invisible.
He cares about the smallest sparrow…and He cares about you.
There’s a beautiful old hymn, written in the early 1900’s, called “His Eye is On the Sparrow.” If you’re a music lover, I think you’ll enjoy this amazing improvised piano/saxophone rendition of the hymn. The artists are Atlanta based musicians David Carnes (piano) and Sam Skelton (sax), and this was performed at my husband’s funeral in 2009.
I recently came across this treasure and wanted to share it with as many people as possible. Whether or not you believe the truth of the song, you will be amazed at this magnificent duet.
And please, remember…
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