Parable of the Parakeet

The day our little baby parakeet was hatched was indeed a special day! After about three weeks of waiting for the egg to hatch, we very cautiously peeked into mommy parakeet’s wooden nesting box and saw a tiny dark pink baby bird at the bottom.

But there was a problem. Baby parakeets are supposed to begin to venture out of their nest after about four weeks. But six weeks went by, and our little bird was still inside. We could hear him making lots of noise as he attempted to come out, but to no avail. Was he trapped? Parakeets’ nests are big boxes about twelve inches high with a small hole in the middle just big enough to let the parents go in and out.

I decided to call for the vet. He recommended that I take the baby bird out of the nesting box. So I lifted him out of his wooden prison. Then I realized why he had not been able to get out by himself. His legs were deformed. At first I thought he was going to die. I called the vet back to explain the situation, and he told me what to do.

Luckily, both his parents had been taking good care of him until the time I removed him from his nest, so Câlin, as we named him, which mean “cuddle,” was able to eat on his own. I placed him in a separate cage with a pillow on the bottom. I also installed perches and even a little swing.

parakeet in handNow Câlin is three months old, and he is a happy little bunch of feathers. He has his own special way to reach the perches and swing, hauling himself up the bars of his cage. He cannot put his two feet on the perch, but he manages to put one of them on, and the other one he uses to hold himself to the side.

He has made a lot of progress. Though he walks like a little seal, he can fly very well. He can also do something most small parakeets do not do. He imitates our human voices!

Câlin lives up to his name, because he loves to be taken in the hands and cuddled. He needs a bit more time and effort than our other birds. But he was worth saving. He may be a little freak and extra small, about 35 grams, but those are 35 grams of pure joy and love. It really doesn’t matter if he can’t walk very well, because he can fly. When he is in the air, he is not disabled.

Little disabled Câlin has taught me a valuable lesson. When I see him on the ground I wonder how that clumsy little creature could ever fly. But when he takes off, he is in his real element.

Sometimes when we look at ourselves, or each other, we focus on the problems. In this life we stumble around making mistakes. But God sees beyond our present condition. He sees us as he has made us to be, and as someday, when we meet Christ, we will finally see ourselves. He loves us and encourages us, and always will, and sometimes he even cuddles us. He knows we are worth saving.

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

 Claire Claude, 2011

Claire and her husband Gerard pastor GCI congregations in France and Belgium.

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