Vanity of Vanities

Last week I came home to find a small bird lying on the porch—it had clearly flown smack dab into the front window.  I’ve seen it before:  a hapless bird thinks there is a clear flight path due to the reflection of sky or trees instead of a pane of glass.  The last time it happened, I watched in delight as it slowly came-to and eventually flew away, having only been stunned!

I picked him up, hopeful because the tiny body was still warm.  But it must have just happened and the impact had, indeed, killed the little guy.  With a heavy heart, I buried him in a tiny grave in the backyard—I absolutely adore birds.  I looked him up and learned that my little friend was called a Dark-Eyed Junco.

In Matthew 6 Jesus looks to the birds of the sky to demonstrate proper trust in God.  I have often found comfort in that verse when I’m anxious over trivialities or obsessing about something that’s out-of-my-hands.  The fate of this Dark-Eyed Junco, however, made me think of Qoheleth’s wise counsel that life is fleeting—it is an equally effective way to temper anxiety.  It’s the sobering and humbling flipside to the idea that things will work out.

Quincy Howard
Denver, CO


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