The finches chose a runt. They pecked at her until her neck is naked and her back is raw.
After various bird acquisitions and exchanges this winter, we have a plethora of cages. I set one up with food and water and started the rescue. Out came the big fish net I use to catch birds (4"X6"). As I stuck my hand past the plastic drop that guards the wide aviary door, the birds went berserk.
The suddenly peaceful cage erupted into panicked cheeps. Mad flapping. Hopping away on branches. Crazy flying into every corner and diving onto the floor. Soon I caught the little pecked pied finch. Caught a male to keep her company. They struggled in the net, hearts racing in my fist, little legs pushing in vain against my palm. I released them into the 18"X14"X14" cage, a far cry from their 3'X3'X5' aviary, and took them up to my office.
They cried to the other birds, who responded with loud chirps. Back and forth, between upstairs and down. They settled down enough to explore the perches and jump around the cage, complaining all the while. Later they settled down, sunned themselves in the window, ate some food, and drank some water. This morning they're at it again. Fretting. Anxious. Loudly peeping their resentment.
This may only take a week or two, but they don't know that. The female needs isolation to heal. Since they are community birds, the male will help the process by keeping her company. He's done nothing to deserve this. Nor has she.
Sometimes our lives are like the birds. God, who knows the bigger picture, not only keeps his eye on the sparrow. He watches over us with a tender care that we cannot fathom. These steep, narrow paths and bitter discomforts may actually be part of his loving kindness to us and those we love.
*For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
*Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:22-26 NIV
*[Paul, about believers in Macedonia:] "They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do." 2 Corinthians 8:2–3, 5 NLT