Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Painted Bunting

I was thrilled to see this little beauty land in my yard one day in March.  Although he only visited for one day, it was a delight to see his iridescent colors flash across the yard that morning.  The whole story of seeing this painted bunting was a bit  surreal.  Here's how it went:

My husband and I were having breakfast and watching various familiar birds enjoying the bird feeder.  I was telling Larry about seeing a picture of a colorful bird in a local blog and how much I would love to see that bird.  As I was speaking, I picked up the bird identification book on the table when out of the corner of my eye I see a flash of color fly by.  I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone movie or something.  Here, I'd just said I'd love to see this rare bird -- and there he was!

I was so excited!  I grabbed my camera and got this photo of him perched on a tree limb at the back of our yard.  None of my shots came out crystal clear, but I was just happy to get something this good.  I had to go to the computer and search to find out his name because neither of my bird books even listed him.  He is that rare -- especially in the southeast.

Isn't he beautiful!!  It's not very often that we feel like we "ask" and it is immediately "given."  I hadn't even prayed to see this bird, merely said how much I would love to see him.  I know that nothing -- and I do mean "nothing" -- happens by chance.  I believe God wanted to surprise and delight me that morning -- just because He wanted to bring me pleasure.  I'm His child and He loves me -- just as He loves each of His children.  Perhaps God also wanted to see my reaction to His lovely gift.  I hope He was pleased with my excitement.

The painted bunting is such a flamboyantly colored bird that he doesn't look like he should be anywhere near our state.  Rather, he should be flitting among palm trees on some Caribbean island with equally colorful parrots.  Yet -- here he was, perched in my leafless tree in a yard that was still primarily brown.  This bright spot of color made me smile -- and still does, each time I see his picture.

How many times has God answered an unspoken prayer with just what you need for that moment?  How often do we fail to see it was from Him and miss out on the joy of seeing the work of His fingers and giving Him thanks for His gift?

Remember,  "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!"  And, even to those who have not yet asked. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..." James 1:17.

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