A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Posts Tagged ‘valuing others

zebra finch

Syd, my son’s pet finch

My house got a little noisier this weekend. Okay, a lot noisier. My son adopted a bird with special needs.

Our local pet store was giving away a zebra finch with balance problems. For some reason, he can’t fly well and has trouble perching. Still, he enjoys our company, eats his food messily like most pet birds, and sings his little heart out…which he started at 6:45 a.m. today. It was probably more pleasant for my son to wake up to birdsong than to a beeping alarm clock.

I know some people would not have chosen this bird. He’s kind of wobbly and clumsy. But my son enjoys caring for him and the finch, Syd, has decided we’re his flock.

That’s how it is with God and us. Even though, since we’re human, not one of us is perfect, God loves and cares for us and uses us to fulfill his plans, as and where we are.

For example, Abraham was elderly when God made him the father of a great nation (see Genesis 21). Moses was a fugitive who had killed a man, yet God chose him to lead Israel to freedom (see Exodus 2 and 3). David was a young shepherd when God chose him to be king (see 1 Samuel 16). Peter was an uneducated fisherman, yet he was the rock Jesus chose to build his church on (see Matthew 16:18). And reading about the saints tells us that many were poor, unschooled, ill, or simply cantankerous, yet God used them to spread the good news and bring healing and comfort to those in need.

Sadly, our society tends to pigeonhole people, deciding they can’t contribute because of their age, their mental or physical challenges, or their social status. Which can lead to disturbing social changes such as the rising abortion rate for babies with Down syndrome or pushes to enact or expand laws on assisted suicide. But how can we value people so little when everyone has worth in God’s eyes?

On Thursday, for the first time, I walked in the March for Life. People came to Ottawa from all over Ontario and Quebec: families with young children, seniors, busloads of high school students and parishioners, and priests and religious; people from all ethnicities and walks of life; people who walked in the March and those who could not but held up signs and waved to encourage those who did.

march for life

March for Life

How wonderful it would be if we could pull together like this more often on the big issues, and if we could focus each day on one another’s strengths and our common ground so that more of us would use our gifts and sing out like Syd.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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