Militant Robins

We have robins nesting front and back; one under our deck and the other on a gable above our front window. When I’m outside weeding the garden or cutting the grass, the robins tend to scold me unmercifully. I get that every year until they wean their young.

We’ve had a long history of militant robins. In a previous location, every year, one robin would attack our living room windows for a week or two. Evidently, it was a male who saw in its own reflection a rival challenging its right to this territory.

It sure messed up the window and the surrounding area, something that made Mary Helen quite unhappy. I tried to tell her that it was only doing what comes naturally, but she was not pacified. She wanted me to invent some kind of gadget to shoo robins away from our windows.

I haven’t done any scientific study, but I’d guess we get the same pair back every year. You’d think they would get to know us and become friendly like the chickadees. But no, as soon as they nest, they scold us unmercifully whenever we go outside. And they often build their mud and straw castles in the most inconvenient places. One year it was on top of the ladder we had hung on the side of our house. Another year it was on the garage door opener. We’d got in the habit of leaving the garage door open during the day. Not very thoughtful of the robins.

Their most recent choice of the supports under the deck, makes it difficult to enjoy the fresh air without enduring a scolding.

Oh, I know robins are innocent of any malice. They’re just acting out their robin-nature which makes me wonder about all the talk about getting back to nature. If we happen to be human beings we don’t want to give in to that temptation. If we do, the result will be insults and anger and aggression and wars and sleeping around and eating until we’re stuffed and a whole lot of other junk. Stuff that our culture may tell us is quite natural. You get the idea.

Counter intuitively, Jesus expects His followers to act contrary to their old nature. After all, one of the main purposes of redemption is to deliver us progressively from our fallen nature. That means being meek like the Master instead of aggressive and pushy. And tough as it sounds, Jesus taught us; Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:39) Wow, that’s hard.

Paul exhorts us to follow the same New Covenant principle. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends. (Romans 12:17-19)

Like the robins, we might find it easier to give in to our nature, but God expects a much higher standard from His children. ©


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