"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Kindness of Creatures



By Micky Wolf
We’re talking two legs and a set of wings. The cardinal kind that fly, not the ordained species.

It’s easy to assume, or believe, that creatures—other than human beings—lack intelligence, wisdom, feelings, or emotions. Or that if they do have these attributes, they don’t measure up to, or equate with those we have been given by our Creator God.

In other words, birds, insects, reptiles, primates and so forth are just that—animals without a soul or spirit, or a decent sized brain that equips them to think and behave like we do. With all due respect and given the way we act sometimes, thank God!

However, my beloved and I witnessed a beautiful exchange between a cardinal-couple one recent afternoon. Given their cautious and sensitive nature, we couldn’t photograph the actual moment. (The female is pictured above.) But observing them caused both of us to ponder.

Who could have imagined the male would be so attentive to his partner (Cardinals mate for life) that he would carefully pick up several seeds in his beak, one by one, and pass them to her? Interestingly enough, it turns out this behavior is part of the courtship ritual.

And you thought we humans were the only ones to gaze longingly into the beak--ah, eyes—of another during those early encounters of you-are-my-one-and-only-forever moments of young, romantic bliss.

There are likely a multitude of explanations for how and why these gorgeous feathered, winged, companions behave the way they do. In this instance, it could be as simple as “I’m trying to impress you, honey. You in for the long haul or not?”

Nonetheless, it seems our Creator God has imbued these creatures with their own unique sense of caring and kindness. No doubt, something we as humans could certainly stand to seed more fully into many of our human relationships.

In the meantime, if we’re a little self-conscious or uncomfortable with more demonstrative ways to be kind, extending a hand will work just fine. It’s not the trail mix or gentle caress that matters so much—it’s the loving intention that motivates the action in first place that is of greater meaning and value to the recipient. 

What does being kind mean to me?

Am I comfortable/uneasy with being demonstrative toward my spouse or others?

Am I aware of the ways God reaches out to me in kindness and caring?




 

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