It seems every year,when the hint of elusive spring is just entering the Lake City Colorado consciousness I begin to hear insistent noises!
This tapping is not that of a regular, large woodpecker. They are much larger, red-headed birds whose endless jabbing sounds like highly-motivated Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking on your door. I had a dad-gum-endangered woodpecker tear a softball sized hole in my garage years ago in Tucson. What I have now is a darling little bird. If you saw him perched on your birdbath you would think him completely harmless and the cutest little thing you have ever seen- seemingly incapable of any damage or destruction. You would feel compelled to whip out your camera for a candid shot and post it on FaceBook for all your friends to coo over it’s cuteness!
Looks can be so very deceiving! I looked him up, and the perpetrator of this crime is a Lesser black and white Colorado Wood Pecker. This feathered, sharp-beaked menace has taken an obsessive liking to the siding on our house. Often days will go by and I won’t hear his calling card. I relax and begin to forget all about him, thinking he has found tastier homes to pillage. Then, when I least expect it and at random hours of the day, exactly where the two wide planks of the eave come together he swoops in and starts his dedicated work. Peckedy Peckedy Peckedy! Lengthy pregnant pause…Peckedy-Peckedy!
Reminiscent of some old Donald Duck/ Chip and Dale Cartoon, I jump into my shoes and run outside in my pajamas and yell at this very Bad Bird! He leaves off his second-story work, cocks his little bird head to one side to curiously observe my caterwauling and fist-shaking. Unimpressed, he returns to his drilling which has now grown into an observable, widening, much lighter spot against the stained cedar surface. I have to admit, this little fella has a powerful Protestant work ethic! Once begun, he is totally committed to this sweet spot.
I look around for something to throw. Bad Bird has craftily chosen to work right above the large picture window in the stairwell of our home. If I chuck anything substantial I am likely to bust out a pricey window. I try a few pine cones but they are not heavy enough to do the job. The only other handy, natural resource in abundance in my front yard is snow. I begin making soggy snowballs and hurling them, one after another, in Bad Bird’s general direction( while yelling un-Christian things about his heritage) He stops once more and gives me a look which indicates he isn’t impressed with my aim or my geriatric efforts. I try again, and finally lob a sizeable snowball way up there just below the scene of the crime! Slightly shocked by my improved pitching arm, he finally decides to relocate to a near by pine tree or the local coffee shop to do some Chillin’ and re-think his strategy!
Victorious, I return inside and resume my contemplation of the universe. I try to pour myself another cup of coffee in celebration of my mighty deed, only to discover that my right arm is pulsating in muscular agony from the snowball fight and it is entirely possible that I have completely lost a rotator cuff in that snow drift!
Several remedial aspirin later and after icing my chubby little arm, I feel triumphant. I may have incurred some war wounds but I vanquished the Bad Bird and preserved the integrity of my house on the hill. As I sit back down at my computer and prepare to get back to work- there it is again!
Peckedy-Peckedy-Peckedy-Peckedy. Now, it seems to be in stereo! Bad Bird One is back in his favored spot but he brought his extended family for good measure and they are now operating in syncopated rhythm on assorted and inaccessible points of the house! Stay tuned for further episodes in this ongoing saga!
Often our spiritual health and well-being can be similarly rattled. We are rolling along – seemingly doing well. Then all the sudden, out of left field, comes an angry outburst, a pesky unresolved past issue-problem-addiction-area of sin- pops up and starts pecking around our edges looking for a foothold. Such strongholds or areas of weakness are tested by the enemy periodically, as he taps our defenses looking for a good entry point.
Rather than yield the entire issue to the King, who is supposedly on the throne of our life, we try to deal with it ourselves. We can fix this our way. We try to be strong. We try to ignore it or hide it. We think perhaps will-power and self-discipline may win out this time! We attempt to tamp what ever it is down or slap a stalwart smile on it. If I ignore it hopefully it will just go away.
Maybe you took some action. Perhaps you acknowledged the problem issue and asked for God’s forgiveness but you didn’t completely scrape it off your shoe and walk away, you stayed in that relationship, or maintained those unhealthy friends or habits that you knew you shouldn’t. You have opened those doors to pecking birds.
Or worse, you accurately identified the real issue, turned away from that sin and even asked the Lord to forgive you. All really good! However, you forgot to go and make it right to the person that you angered, hurt or offended or who offended, angered or hurt you. (Matthew 5:22-26, Matthew 18,1 John 1:9) By not forgiving and obediently following Jesus’ example you have legally opened the door for the demonic, the tormentors and accusers of those Matthew passages to have free entrance into your life. Peckedy-Peckedy-Peckedy.
Eventually you may have made the rounds of doctors, or gone for counseling or added some sort of anxiety medication to deal with the fallout and stress. Peckedy-Peckedy-Peckedy-Peckedy. Maybe you began to get the idea that this may indeed be a spiritually rooted issue and asked for prayer and flip on that worship music. Mission accomplished, you think. Peckedy-Peckedy-Peckedy Peckedy-Peckedy. Understanding that we received undeserved, unmerited Grace and forgiveness from Jesus means unequivocally that we must offer, extend and restore the exact same thing to others.
Will you take the time to fix the real problem and be obedient or wait until an entire flock of Pecking birds comes to destroy your house and build a nest on your head?