By Chaplain (Maj.) George TygerSeptember 15, 2016
Several weeks ago a baby bird fell from its nest just outside my office. As I pulled into my parking spot and got out of my car, the mother bird swooped in. It was a warning not to bother her baby. I did not. I expected the baby bird would not survive. The next day the baby was gone.
Still the mother bird swooped in. Looking around, I saw the baby had found a small pile of leaves to hide in. I watched from a distance as the mother bird fed the baby on the ground. The next day the baby was gone again. Again, mother bird swooped in. I looked around and saw the baby had secured a place in a basement stairwell.
Over the next few weeks, I continued to watch as the baby bird grew and the mother bird stayed nearby. Soon the baby was a fledgling. Before long, the baby flew out of the stairwell and into the sky. It must have been tough for that bird and its mother. Long cold nights alone, long hot days far from safety; but life always finds a way.
We all fall sometimes. We fall from our safe spaces and our secure nests. Falling is a normal part of life. The question is, will we find a way to fight on despite the fall? Will we continue to grow even though we've left the safety of our nests? Will there be someone to help us through the danger of the fall, the cold nights, and long days as we gain our strength and grow our wings?
What can sustain us through life's inevitable falls?
For many it is faith, but not the kind of faith that believes what cannot be proven. The most powerful faith is the courage to be in spite of the fall or the courage to swoop in and protect those we love.
The most powerful faith affirms that each of us has meaning and value in the world no matter how far we fall. The most powerful faith is that life, like that baby bird, will always find a way to overcome and persevere. Let us each pray for baby-bird faith in our lives.
(Editor's note: Tyger is the 3rd Chemical Brigade chaplain.)