Let me begin by saying that those of you who read my blog regularly will perhaps remember that in an earlier post, dated 10/28/2020 and titled GOOD AND EVIL, I talked about my love for Alfred Hitchcock movies, and specifically for his movie titled The Birds.
In that movie, of course, an enormous number of bird species inexplicably converge upon the northern California hamlet of Bodega Bay, where they proceed to wreak havoc on the local inhabitants. So, to get to the point, as I was out walking earlier today, I suddenly found myself surrounded by a similarly massive flock of birds.
I first became aware of their presence by the sheer volume of sound they were producing. What had begun as a slight drumming noise grew quickly into a cacophony of squeaking, squawking, and chirping that all but drowned out any other noise.
Looking up, I soon realized that the limbs and branches above me were full as far as I could see (about a hundred yards in every direction). I do not know if they were blackbirds, purple martins, or some other species; but it was fairly obvious that they were migrating en masse, and had just then chosen to alight and rest in the trees all up and down the stretch of road I was traversing.
As I slowly made my way forward, I could not help but recall certain eerie portions of Hitchcock’s The Birds, especially the scene where Tippy Hedren and numerous children slowly begin to navigate a menacing flock of birds in an attempt to escape their beleaguered school house. With every step they take, the birds become more and more aggressive, until an outright onslaught ensues! With each passing step, I had visions of just such an impending attack!
Thankfully, after several agonizing minutes, I finally passed underneath and beyond the majority of them without attack. As I ever-so-slowly emerged from underneath the threatening assemblage above me, the clamor slowly began to abate. It was only then, however, that I began to hear another ominous sound - a new noise akin to dripping, splatting, or even plopping.
No sooner had I realized what I was hearing than I felt the droppings hitting my shoulders. A quick glance at the pavement to my right and left confirmed my fears! That’s right! You guessed it. I was being pelted with bird poop from a hundred or more avian dispensaries located directly overhead!
It was then that I had my epiphany. I was not living out a scene from The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. Instead, I was living out a scene from another movie: High Anxiety by Mel Brooks! If you are familiar with this latter work, you will know that it is a hilarious parody film in which the scene in question has a man running from a flock of menacing birds (an obvious play on Hitchcock’s The Birds), only to be overrun by them, and to be bombarded with an avalanche of bird droppings from above!
As I made my way home, I reflected on what all had just happened. I concluded that what I had undergone was a good paradigm for life in general, and for the choice life so often presents us with in particular.
To begin with, I had been privileged to experience an amazing sight. The flock of birds I encountered was truly a miracle of nature. It was a rare and spectacular phenomenon. And yet, ironically, I was about to miss the significance of all of this because I was focused on another, less fortunate and ultimately far less significant component of life.
After all, once home, I quickly showered and ran my clothes though the washing machine and dryer. When I did, the singular unfortunate component of this whole experience was done and gone. But I will forever remember the remarkable privilege of happening upon such an enormous conglomeration of migrating birds, in all their splendor and magnificence.
Fast forward nine hours… Along with untold billions of people on this planet, I stood with my family just after dark tonight observing the so-called Christmas Star of 2020. We are told that it has been some 800 years since the precise conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn gave the appearance in the night sky at Christmas time that a super star was present.
How ironic is it that this is occurring on the winter solstice in this of all years?!
For here, as we are emerging from 2020, when the world has now effectively dumped upon all of us a most terrible and odious expression of misfortune, the Lord has chosen to remind us of His power and presence by allowing us to experience so grand and majestic a miracle as the unheard of gathering of heavenly spheres above us!
And do these heavenly entities not sing of His glory and majesty as they assemble?!
As they do, do they not also challenge us to look beyond the “crap” of this world (which is, quite frankly, to be expected), and to focus instead upon the marvelous, miraculous, creative, and redemptive power of Almighty God? A power that is on display not only in nature among the birds of the air and the orbs of the skies that He created, but also on display in the supernatural display of angels singing and a Savior being born that He ordained?!
No, my friends, do not make the terrible mistake of missing the great miracle of Christmas this year! Do not do this by focusing on the awful inundation of misfortune we have all experienced at the expense of the great blessing we have all received! For when the Heavens sing, they do so, not by accident, but by design! And as they do, they sing of God’s glory, God’s purpose, and above all, God’s love!
THE BIRDS MOVIE ATTACK SCENE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsP_f6TAKtk.
HIGH ANXIETY MOVIE ATTACK SCENE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scgO8Vfh1qU.