Blue jays seem to like to argue although they sing a beautiful courtship song. The rest of the time they verbally spar with others like them and other kinds of birds and are often the ones to initiate. They will caw at the squirrels, who are more than willing to offer a verbal response right back at them. Jays often dive in at the feeders to chase the competition away.
Some go. Others stay. And most of them squawk back.
On this day, with this jay, things were a little different. We were the only ones at the feeders. In the stillness of the morning, we watched each other. I played music, and she (I’m gender guessing) listened with me. I felt a big smile pull across my lips.
For the first time in my life, I hoped the other birds would wait to come in for breakfast.
Not once did she relax. Instead, she chose to stand firm in this “at the ready” position.
I wondered if she heard something I could not. Her life and sometimes the lives of others depend on listening and then issuing a loud alert.
One other thing stands out from our time together: I heard no other jays. That’s unusual. They often arrive in small, loud groups.
Maybe she had already experienced something frightening.
What makes a blue jay sit that still for that long? I have no idea, but all it took to change our morning was the flit of a chickadee. The blues she wore shone as she lifted off (the photo does not do her beauty justice), and she flew away without so much as a caw.
After her exit, chickadees, cardinals, sparrows, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other squabbling blue jays flew in. After watching them for a short time, I thought about the “at the ready” jay. Was this my gentle lesson for the day?
I walked and prayed, and the only words that came to my mind were so obvious I almost tossed them into the wind. Instead, I let them walk across my mind and heart again.
I waited for more words.
So, I prompted the Lord. “For . . .?”
When all remained quiet inside me, I attempted to help God again. “Be ready for Your return? Or to give everyone who asks me a reason for my hope? Maybe be ready to serve and help and do good when an opportunity arises?”
Remembering this autumn story on a cold winter day, I wasn’t sure of the lesson, but I love the photo and thought to myself, if you start writing, the answer might come.
My questions were good ones, but they were not the lesson. Then came another inquiry that caused my whispery voice to shake slightly. “Lord, did You send that at the ready blue jay for my enjoyment?” (I always talk aloud to Him out there.) “Is that the lesson?”
That’s when I got to arguing with myself
Critic: that’s your spiritual lesson? Can you back that up with a Bible verse taken in context?
Me: No verse. Yet. Maybe if I keep typing, I’ll remember one.
Critic: How’s that going for you?
Me: Not bad. I was thinking with my eyes closed.
Critic: Really? What were your thoughts?
Me: I wondered what your address is so I could send you there.
Critic: What? You don’t think I’m the Holy Spirit?
Me: No. You sound just like me.
Yesterday, I walked through the almost spring muck to the branch the blue jay sat on that other day. It was empty, but the lesson had been given gently and received gratefully. I’m not sure my lips smiled, but it felt like my heart did.
Until Next Time,