We found this little blue jay fledgling soaking wet and alone at dusk a couple days ago. I looked around for a nest but couldn’t find one, then waited until after dinner to see if he was still there. He was. And a storm was coming.
So I put him in an empty La Croix box of all things, stuffed with soft towels to dry off and stay safe and warm.
He slept in the bathroom overnight, and in the morning, I put him out by a big shrub in our backyard and waited. He squawked a couple of times and hopped away, and I didn’t see him again.
Well, this little fledgling came back this afternoon, and I’m glad to see him…and his mom or dad close by, swooping back and forth to make sure he was okay, as he sat there like a tiny rotund and feathered ottoman.
I think I did the right thing. I hope I did. He’s alive and back with his little family so that’s a positive indication that what I did wasn’t inherently wrong, and I followed the instructions I found from a wildlife rescue site (fun fact: the blue jay is part of the crow family).
Figuring out what to do in the rest of life isn’t so easy, is it? Living Christlike isn’t so simple.
Jesus wasn’t some nice-to-know kinda guy. He expressed righteous anger, He reprimanded, He turned much of the status quo on its collective head. He was radical and bold. And to reduce Him to some pop culture version of Himself, like the college kid who plays Jesus-y songs on his acoustic guitar out on the quad, would do Him a great and grave disservice. He came into the world and fundamentally changed it. That is a powerful thing. He is, after all, God.
So that leaves question of how we should act. It’s okay to get angry, right? To provide the mercy of a timely reprimand to someone in need of it. To see what is wrong with the world, or just our very small sliver of it, and fight to change it. To be radical and bold ourselves.
But He also said to love one another as ourselves. Sounds simple enough. But oh ho! We humans are imperfect so even our love is done imperfectly. There will always be consequences, less-than-ideal outcomes to the things we do out of love. We can never hope to make it all neat and tidy and perfect ourselves. Only God, in his great mercy and love for us, can do that.
Nevertheless, we must try, working to balance the radicality of Christ with the love of Christ, which He could do perfectly and we can only do our best.
It feels a bit like fumbling in the dark sometimes, but if Christ is our light, then it isn’t dark at all.
“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)