A Beak Full of Bread


A dashing pair of bluejays made their residence near our home. They’d taken it upon themselves to scold and chase off a few cats who would have liked to have lived there too. They were not at all shy, and were happy as larks (or should I say joyful as jays), to find in our driveway a few pieces of stale bread that they took to be a fine house-warming gift. The next day one of them appeared again in his best blue suit and freshly-combed top knot, strutted around a bit and announced his presence with a few squawks! l was duly impressed, and reached into my bread wrapper to find two whole pieces of fresh bread for my stately visitor. (I was out of the stale stuff.)

I threw the bread into the driveway in various-sized pieces, as he watched from the branches of a tree. Then in a self-assured manner, he headed straight for the biggest piece of bread and picked it up. Rather unbalanced, he hopped over to another piece of bread and stopped, a bit puzzled. Then he dropped the first piece to pick up the new one, which wasn’t as big. Being a rather greedy bird and seeing his dilemma, he picked up the big piece again and managed to get the other one into his beak as well. This done, he headed for yet another piece. But here lay a greater challenge. Setting the first two pieces down, he went for the third, and somehow got all three large pieces of bread into his beak before taking off and struggling to gain altitude.

I hope he made it all the way with that full beak! But what are we to make of him?! Should we scold him for his greed or applaud him for his perseverance? Was this a lesson about greed almost getting the best of him or about the courage to risk all for a greater gain? The Bible discourages the first and encourages the second.

And in our own lives, if we are truthful with ourselves, our hearts will know the difference.


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