While calmly eating my lunch outside on a park bench today, a small bird flew toward me. Then another. And another. Soon, I felt like I was in a re-enactment of the Alfred Hichcock movie “The Birds.”
Let me just continue by saying that I have a severe fear of birds. It may have something to do with their beady little eyes and flapping wings, as well as the fact that their particular walk makes it hard to tell exactly where they are going next. Without thinking, I grabbed my bag in fear and jumped off the bench, and as I did I said in a particularly loud voice “I hate birds!” It was a gut reaction that just sprung from my mouth without my thinking.
After I said it, an older woman sitting at the bench next to me with her dog looked at me with amusement, and said, “You shouldn’t hate anything.” The statement made me rethink my response. She was right. It isn’t right to hate. After all, God created all creatures, great and small. Sometimes its difficult to control our reactions to things, especially when there is fear involved (irrational or otherwise). But reminders like the one I received today are good – and hopefully next time I am surrounded by those birds, I can try to look on them with more compassion and less fear.