Nibblers and Gobblers
June 8, 2011"Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matthew 6: 26 We feed the birds too. And others also come to the feast. Our flower beds we call "the bunny buffet." Chipmunks are scavengers in the yard eating whatever seed is discarded and scratching around for grubs and such. The deer and fawn in the front yard are filled in low lying leaves. But it is the squirrels that are the most captivating to watch. They are quite the show! Feeders of various kind hang from trees and poles around the yard. All are placed so that we can watch. In winter especially the birds come to eat. The feeders are filled and word goes out through the trees - "The Campbell Cafe is open. Y'all come." And so they do. Towhees, Chickadees, Wrens, and the most magnificent Cardinals who live in our yard. From time to time there is a Woodpecker and an occasional Blue Jay who is not always our most welcome guest. He is a little bossy around the others. In general, birds are nibblers. Polite eaters who take a bite and fly away to eat or feed those in the nest. Rarely do they perch and eat for a long time. They are polite sharing the perch and not overstaying their welcome. They nibble the food in a confidence that food will be there and if not in our yard, then in someone else's yard. Squirrels are another story. They are gobblers. Their sticky feet will get them into places Houdini would envy. They contort their bodies to get inside the feeders and closer to the food. We have what is called "squirrel proof" feeders that close the food hatch when the weight of the squirrel falls on the feeder. But the squirrels have figured out that if they hang from the branches, the food hatch will stay open and they - even when upside-down - can eat till they literally drop. Squirrels are not intimidated by birds, and hardly by humans. They are driven and wily enough to figure a way to the table. The squirrels will take their share and more and leave behind them a huge mess of hulls and shells. While untidy gobblers are amusing in the yard, it is easy to note the difference between Nibblers and Gobblers. Nibblers are so much more civil, leaving a smaller footprint and fewer messes to clean up. Gobblers appear to be self-centered gluttons. This micro-level lesson holds in it a greater lesson at the macro-level. Where am I the Gobbler? Would the world be blessed if more of us were Nibblers? The provision of God is promised thoughout Scripture. Even in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us to trust that God will provide. Knowing what is enough, sharing what is provided, offering justice at the feeder is a lesson the Gobblers need to know. Myself included.