As we sat eating dinner together and feeding the birds, something kept “spooking” them. Initially we began to blame each other for making sudden noises, the type of thing a family does when gathered, ribbing each other a little.

Something in me kept saying, “It is an outside source that we cannot see.” I watched closely, hoping to spot the cause of this action that produced such pandemonium. Fleetingly I spotted a hawk in the distance and announced that I had spotted the problem, but the hawk had already distanced itself from us.

The birds had settled for their routine again and we began to endeavor to identify each one. With the next scattering of birds, our daughter blurted out, “There it is, over in the palm tree.” It was something you dislike seeing, but would not miss it for the world. The hawk was trying to get into a nest and the bird of the nest, the size of a sparrow, was fighting the hawk trying to keep it from grabbing the babies. Back and forth it flew, hitting the hawk time after time, refusing to allow the bridling to become the meal of this vulture bird. It appeared that this little parent would risk its life to guarantee the safety and security of its offspring. We were sufficiently removed from the tree so we could not determine if the hawk was successful, but we knew that the bird was successful in its endeavors as the hawk left the area.

Naturally, I had to analyze this activity by the birds and see if a principle applied. It was not hard to visualize the parent in defense of the offspring. It is quite natural for a parent to want to stand with his or her child and fight, even unto death. I guess that is one of the reasons it is hard to understand a parent allowing an abortion. It is another reason that those who have abortions suffer guilt for so long afterward.

My mind went to Philippians 1:20 and the few verses that follow: “According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

The Apostle Paul saw the honor and knew the privilege of defending the cause of Jesus Christ. The cost of his own personal life was to be secondary. His eternal life and his love for the One who had given Himself in sacrifice for Paul’s sins was what would make him throw all caution to the wind. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:38, 39 NASB)

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