The Birds, The Beast, and an Empty Nest

0 comments Posted on September 19, 2015

SONY DSCby Kathy Howard

Four baby swallows peered over the edge of the mud nest in a corner of our patio, eagerly waiting for their mother to return with breakfast. I had a really good view of the feathered family from my bedroom window. Excited, I thought, “I can watch them grow and learn to fly!”

Then I remembered the beast. Our ninety-pound, yellow lab dominates the back yard. Would the baby birds have a chance against a dog that pulls trees up by the roots? Maybe they should never leave the nest.

Two days later, two babies clung to the edge of the nest for flying lessons. Mother Swallow called to them from the patio ceiling fan about five feet away.

The beast lay on his side seemingly unaware of the unfolding drama. One baby hopped off into space, untested wings flapping. He dipped low, coming within eighteen inches of the ground. I held my breath. The beast slept on. Then the baby’s wings caught air and he awkwardly joined his mother on the fan blade. One down, three to go.

Embraced by HolinessWithin a few days, all four babies had successfully learned to fly. At first they stayed close to the nest, but within days they visited the roof and the large tree beyond the patio. Then one day they were gone. Their mother had done her job.

All three of my babies have also left the nest. Whenever I start to worry about “big, yellow labs,” God reminds me that nothing happens to a single sparrow without His knowledge. If He cares that much for a sparrow, how much more does He care for my children? And for yours?

So I’ll pray—and watch from the fan blade with squawks of encouragement.

Kathy Howard writes to have something to do while drinking coffee and eating chocolate. The author of six books, including Embraced by Holiness. Kathy helps women live an unshakeable faith for life by encouraging them to stand firm on our rock-solid God no matter the circumstances. Find out about her Bible studies and get discipleship and leader helps at her website:



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