Last week, I heard a news story about snow geese. These majestic birds fly from Mexico to Alaska around this time every year. I’m sure the people on the ground appreciate their flight as an annual source of wonder and beauty. This year has been a different experience for many along the route, especially those in Idaho.
Thousands of the geese have dropped out the sky, D.O.A. Wildlife specialists have determined they’ve been affected by avian cholera, a disease that kills birds very quickly, sometimes even in mid-flight. Oddly enough, for some of the ailing geese, their last action is to fly upside-down just before they drop to their death.
What must these sick geese be thinking? And how about their flying buddies? Goose #1: “Dude, look at Steve. He’s flying upside-down. That’s hilarious.” Goose #2: “Not cool, man. I think he’s sick. Show some compassion.”
When I heard this story on the radio, the wildlife specialist interviewed didn’t seem especially concerned about the snow geese population declining due to this disease. He said to use caution if you come upon a dead bird (Check—no one has to tell me twice to step away from a dead animal), but otherwise they’ve got the situation under control.
These geese made me think of Christ’s words recorded in Luke 12. He tells the throngs of people who have gathered around Him how they should fear the Lord who can hear even the whispers we utter in secret. Then He says that the Lord—the same God who sees our guilt as plainly as if we had our every sin printed on our t-shirts and tattooed across our foreheads—this same God knows if an insignificant sparrow falls to the earth. This sparrow, worth only a few pennies, merits the attention of the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, Always and Forever. Christ’s logical conclusion is that He must care infinitely more about you, the one He made from His own image. The one He loves enough to count all the hairs on your head.
I feel bad for those geese. Avian cholera is probably a pretty bad way to go. As a rule, flying upside-down seems like something only Daffy Duck should be able to do. So it’s comforting to know I serve a God who knew about the snow geese epidemic way before I did. He knows and He cares and He thinks we’re worth it.