The other day, my husband, Shawn, and I were taking our daily walk with Mia, our poodle. As we started walking, just around the corner from our house, there was a tiny sparrow sitting on the side of the road. As we got closer he didn't fly away and just sat there. He was alive, his eyes were open, but he didn't move.
I thought, "Oh no! Someone will run him over" since it is a busy entry street into our neighborhood. I didn't have any gloves but I had 2 empty poop bags. So I gave Mia's leash to Shawn, put a bag on each hand and gently scooped up the tiny bird. He didn't resist. He just blinked his eyes.
Shawn thought he might have been sick, but what sick bird just sits on the road? I thought he might have flown into a car as it passed by and it might have been injured or stunned. Either way, I wanted to get him off the road so he didn't get run over by a car.
We went into our backyard, and Shawn brought me out a little plastic storage container and we filled it with some coconut liner for flower pots that was all torn up from the birds ripping off pieces for their nests. I figured if they liked it for their nests it couldn't hurt for the little bird to rest on it in the plastic bin. Shawn set up the temporary resting place and I gently laid the little bird in the container. He sat there and looked stunned, but was starting to move his head more and blink his tiny eyes. I went in for some dry bread and when I put it in his container, he jumped out but couldn't fly beyond a little leap under a nearby bush. So I crawled under the bush, scooped him up again with gloves this time, and though he was more feisty, he let me put him back in the bin. We said a prayer over him (I remembered a story about St. Anthony praying an Our Father over a child's cat and the cat was healed) and we left the little bird resting safely and comfortably on our back porch.
When we returned from our walk, the bird was gone!!! Yay! He just needed to get his bearings and rest in a safe place until he could fly again.
It touched my heart that the little bird just needed a little help to recover for a bit after having probably hit a car as it drove by. And after having a rest, getting his head together, he was able to fly off free again.
Right before the Corona virus broke out (at least publicly), I remember looking around one day and thinking how tired and worn out the face of humanity seemed. Everyone seemed to be so tired (before and after vacations) and there didn't seem to be down time to catch up. It was like that poor bird, sitting there stunned. He needed to be brought to a place of safety where he could rest a bit and just get his bearings, then he could fly away and be free again.
And then in a matter of a few days it was like God just stopped the world as we knew it. It was like being hit in the head and everything happened before we knew what was going on. Suddenly everyone had to stay in their homes, a safe place where they have a chance to get their bearings again, to take a step back and take a breath, to spend more time with their family, to get outside and let the sun and wind refresh their tired minds and bodies.
This pandemic won't last forever, though it can feel like it sometimes, and in the midst of so much pain and suffering in so many ways, there are still some beautiful aspects and things to be grateful for each day. Let us pray for those who don't get a break (those who risk their lives daily to help others), that God continues to strengthen and protect them, for those who are sick, lonely, suffering, that God touches their hearts and helps them to find Him even more in their pain, and for those who are blessed from the world seeming to stop, that they may listen to God in the silence, in the beauty of nature, and in the love of their families.
We pray that God will give us all the gift of trust in His Providence, especially for all who have lost their jobs and give us hope that He has something better for us, just around the corner.