Dirty birds – ugh!

During my morning walk today, I saw a committee of buzzards (aka a flock of vultures) gathered just a few yards from the trail. My inital reaction was a shudder of disgust. Apart from the fact that they are some ugly looking birds, they’re just downright ugly! I wondered why these ones were so uncharacteristically brazen, not taking flight at humans in motion at such close proximity. Dirty birds! As I registered my disgust in my mind, I heard these words in my head “they’re nature’s clean up crew!” Then I got to thinking (aaaargh! not again!)…

Each one of us has a purpose in life, even buzzards. They feast on dead animals and often get to them faster than the local government authorities whose job it is to dispose of road kill (who exactly does that anyway?).  They do their job quietly and thanklessly and even put up with the disdain of the likes of me. Despite this, if I were a betting person, I’d bet on the fact that they’d be missed if they were mysteriously zapped out of existence overnight. As I walked past them on my way back, I realized why they had not taken off flying when I walked past them – they were picking clean the carcass of an armadillo. They kept an eye on me in case I had thoughts of coming after them, but otherwise, they were focused on the task at hand.

I was reminded of the scripture that says that in every house there are vessels, some vessels of honor and some of dishonor. Some are the ornate, delicate, expensive ones we put in the display cabinet for all to see and admire and some are kept in the back beside the bed of a sick child who can’t keep food down, in case they don’t make it to the bathroom in time. The first kind of vessel, you caution the children not to touch so they don’t break it, and the other kind – well, you whip out the gloves in order to pick it up! Either way, both vessels serve their purpose.

So that flock of dirty birds caught my attention this morning and contributed to my quiet time. Whodda thunk it? I’ll never look at a buzzard quite the same way again!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Teresa
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 18:12:26

    In my years as a nurse I learned the same lesson. Sometimes seeing the ‘ugly’ side of life humbles us, draws us closer to the One who made, and is in, not only the beautiful things of the world, but the ugly as well. And if He made them, they must be necessary! They also serve to help us appreciate more-the beauty around us that we so often take for granted-and remind us to be thankful, because no matter what we’re going through or dealing with, there is always someone in a worse position than we are. So, Thank You God, for buzzards!-and Thank You that I’m not one!

    Reply

  2. solathompson
    Aug 14, 2008 @ 18:20:37

    LOL! Well said, Teresa!

    Reply

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