In 2009, I visited Florida with the Texas girls. One of the highlights was having a Florida scrub jay eating from my hands and standing on my head. Oscar Scherer State Park is well known spot among birders to see a lifer Florida scrub jay. After parking in the sandy lot and walking less than a half mile, we put our binoculars to our eyes and started searching over the scrub before us and a tree line a quarter mile away. We soon discovered that unlike the Blue jays of Texas, this Florida jay is not raucous and loud.
The four us were discouraged by not hearing or seeing one immediately. We raised our binos and tried once again. This time, when I lowered my bins to give my eyes a break, a bright blue bird stood within feet at me on the sandy ground. I giggled and the others noticed our visitor. He cranked his neck sideways and stared at me. If he’d had a voice, he would have been asking, “Whatcha lookin’ for?”
As instructed by other birders, I put my hand inside my pocket and pulled out peanuts. Within a minute of stretching out my arms with peanuts in hand, the jay flew up and landed to eat the treats. The feel of the jay’s feet on my hand made me giggle more. Several more jays appeared and the Texas girls took our turns posing for pictures with these friendly birds.
In the flock were adults and juveniles. I had read that newly hatched babes are a family affair for this species. Older brothers and sisters help with the feeding of the chicks and are additional protection against predators. They are a social family of various ages.
I have been blessed with brothers who watch over and protect me, despite our differences. When they know I’m hurting, they encourage. When they see me stumble, they pick me up. When I seek advice, they prayerfully give it.
Even if you don’t have a blood sibling, as Believers, we’ve been given brothers and sisters in Christ. This past week, I shared a physical challenge with a fellow Believer. Immediately she responded by saying a prayer for me. I was not only touched, but her quick support encouraged me.
It’s not always easy to reveal true hurts and challenges, but talking to a fellow Believer may bring you a flock of supportive siblings. And, when a fellow Believer shares a challenge, we have the opportunity to be like the Florida scrub jay and lend support.
1 John 2:10 “Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.”
- A Walk Through an Endangered Scrub Community (serenityspell.com)