This morning I decided to make a loaf of homemade bread. While it was cooling, I watched a beautiful black crow perch himself onto a wire near my apartment. I stepped outside onto my balcony and gazed at him noticing he peered back at me with suspicious eyes. As I am a strange individual with a very vivid imagination, I started creating the bird’s inner monologue.
What does this giant human creature want with ME?
Does it have FOOD?
Has it come to crush me and feast on upon my entrails?
Clearly, the human beast is my enemy and I must stare at her with scornful glances so she knows we are enemies.
Most likely this was NOT the inner thoughts of this bird, but like I mentioned, I am strange.
I went inside to check on my cooling loaf and decided to cut a slice. I noticed the bird was still staring at me and this time inched closer to my window. Feeling bad for the bird, who seemed to want food, I gave him a piece of my bread and placed it on the banister of my balcony. He took one glance at it and flew away. Fine, have it your way, bird.
I went back inside to cut myself a second slice when I noticed that sneaky, little crow had eaten the bread. He just didn’t want want me to see him take it. Sneaky. Sneaky.
I sat down and ate my homemade creation and began ponder more about my little visitor. Why did I feel concern for this little bird? Surely, he didn’t need my help to find him something to eat. All of his needs were met on Earth without my assistance. I was immediately reminded of Jesus’s sermon on worry in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus says in Matthew 6:26 says, “look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?”
I began to ponder this question:
What is the lowest form of life on Earth?
In the human world, the lowliest among us is the often the poorest upon us.
Jesus said in Matthew 25: 40, “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Who is Jesus in this present age? He is the homeless man sleeping in the subway, the person dying of a terminal illness, those pushed onto the margins of society, the prisoner on death row, that refugee seeking asylum – He is ALL people and often those with the greatest needs.
Seeing God in all things means recognizing that God is in all forms of life- from the tiny bird on a wire to my neighbor sleeping on my stoop. We are called to be people to others. What does that mean? It means not being just another body. We are more than a collection of cells. We are body, mind, and spirit.
If we have been created in the likeness of God and are of one body, then we should treat our body well. How should we do that? In regards to our own bodies, we should respect them. We should say kind words to ourself. We should eat well and exercise. We should get enough rest. We should fill our minds with good thoughts. The same goes with others of this one body. Just as we make sure we are dressed, clothed, fed, loved, nourished, so should we do the same for others.
Giving a small piece of bread to a little bird reminded me to ask myself:
How can I be people to those around me?
What have I done for” the least of these?”
I challenge you to ask yourself the same. Explore how you, too, can give more to those around you, even the “very least of these.”