Beyond Appearances…

“The shiny black feathers with purple undertones are so beautiful!  Look at them!” I turned in surprise to quizzically look at my older friend who was also my confidante.  I couldn’t help responding, “Only you can admire a crow!”  However, it did remind me that we do more often than not fail to look at the positive side of things.  The negatives seem to stand out and sadly we make decisions based on that.

One thing I enjoy doing is to stand on the balcony and immerse myself in the wonders of creation – a gift to us from God, a gift that can help us relax if only we would take a few moments and pause…. to smell the fragrant flowers, to inhale the fresh air, to watch the natural scenes that are pleasing to the eye, to listen to the chirping of the birds etc.  I will be honest however, I couldn’t quite appreciate the crow’s beauty the way my friend did.  However, there is one quality of the crow that God had been using to teach me something!

If a crow finds even a small piece of something edible, it would caw till many more joined it.  Once I noticed a crow lifeless in the bare land next door.  I wasn’t the only one!  Another crow flew right down to it… and with all its might started cawing until several others joined in.  Yes, the noise was very much irritating to me but I couldn’t help admire the unity.  I wondered what they were communicating to each other – and wished I could decipher their code of cawing!  When it’s about to rain, the crows will seek cover in the branches of this huge tree.  Once again the cawing is a horrible noise to listen to… There are times when I see them all in that tree, in clear weather, being as loud as possible.  It makes me wonder whether they are having a council meeting of some sort!

I also recall a time when my niece and nephew dragged me to their roof top to see a nest by peering through the open space a few floors down.  I didn’t think the male crow which was protecting the nest from the roof top would seem to mind as we were a few floors away.  Oops, I guessed wrong!  It spared the kids but it decided to take its anger (which of course stemmed from fear) out on me… Ouchhhhhh!!!  Within a few moments it swooped downward and gave a firm strong peck on my head and perched itself back at its watch point!

I thought to myself we believers can learn a lot from the crows as to what we should be like as a body of Christ!  In fact, I think their behavioural pattern puts us to shame – despite our level of intelligence and high vocabulary etc.  The crows were sharing in their joys and their troubles.  Isn’t that what we should be doing?

God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it” – 1 Corinthians 12:18.

“For the early Christians, koinonia was not the frilly “fellowship” of church-sponsored, biweekly bowling parties.  It was not tea, cookies and sophisticated small talk in Fellowship Hall after the sermon.  It was an almost unconditional sharing of their lives with the other members of Christ’s body.” – Ronald J. Sider

If our churches are not doing that today, should we be questioning whether the church is indeed the Body of Christ with Christ as the head?  Yes, we are not perfect but are we actually striving for it, accepting our failures?  

Or are we making all sorts of excuses and thus encouraging isolated members, not sharing in with their troubles and joys?

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