“Squawk, Squawk, Squawk” We stopped school to see what all the ruckus was. It was the last of the Sandhill Cranes flying south for winter. They circled and circled, squawking louder than we’ve ever heard them, moving slowly overhead. On land, these birds are awkward looking, but in the sky, they are simply majestic. They seemed to fly in a bunch – not yet in the sleek line formation that they fly in when flying long distances.
Tori asked me why they were squawking so loud and circling over and over. Why don’t they just fly south? Soon, a pair of Sandhill Cranes from nearby started their assent towards the sky in route to meet the flock already in flight. We watched in awe as a whole flock of Sandhill Cranes waited patiently for the two stragglers to catch up, all the while squawking as loud as they could – they had to make sure that they didn’t leave anyone behind. It’s an impossible trip to make all by yourself, so the birds call out to any other birds, letting them know to come now to make it south for the winter.
When the two stragglers made it to the flock, they circled a few more times, looking and listening for any other stragglers. When no one else appeared, as if by some unspoken command, they stretched out across the sky, creating a huge V-shape and headed out for the long journey south. Each bird in it’s perfect place in the perfect formation for long distance flying.
Tears came to my eyes as I thought, I wonder if the church is ready for the long journey ahead? Are we circling and squawking out loud enough to gather all those who love Jesus to come together? Are we loving those around us and telling them about the long journey ahead? Are we ready to join the flock? Can we – each one of us – find our place in the flock? Are we who are already in the flock, ready and willing for others to join us? Are we calling out? Can we call out? Can we love those who need love? Can we accept them and allow them to join us and maybe even … make room for them in our flock?