Spotting Rare Birds

A few years ago, at the funeral service for Masie Beasley, all of us were invited to select a Beanie Baby from Masie’s extensive collection and encouraged to keep or share our Beanie Baby in her memory. I chose this blue-headed turkey:

Hard to ignore, isn’t it?

This distinctive bird sat in my office for some time until the idea occurred (inspiration struck?) to share my blue-headed turkey with the church staff as a way of light-hearted and occasional recognition. I discussed this idea with former staffer and friend Anda Mobley who remarked, “That’s one REALLY rare bird…” And thus was born, or hatched, the idea of the First Presbyterian Staff RARE BIRD Award. Thanks to Anda, the original rare bird!

In the course of my ministry, I am blessed to observe and overhear when folks express appreciation for church staff when they go the extra mile for Jesus Christ and others. Every few weeks, I present the RARE BIRD Award to a staffer, only asking that they display it and share its meaning with anyone who asks.

A few weeks ago, after a summer of extensive mission and Montreat trips and travels, loaded day camps, and planning for the new Youth year here at FPC, Youth Director Adam Stricker stood still long enough for me to present him the RARE BIRD Award.

(Adam went for a kind of pirate look here.) This week, the RARE BIRD could be spotted riding around in the cart of our Building and Grounds Superintendent, Jay Agnew.

The point, of course, is appreciation and encouragement for my ministry co-workers. And all of us are called and equipped as laborers and servants in God’s kingdom and all of us thrive with apprecation and encouragement. Have you spotted any rare birds lately?

In our world, too often dominated by selfish concerns and grabs for power, selfless Christian faith and disciples truly stand out. In this age and in our everyday walks, Christian wisdom and compassion are distinctive and unique… and needed.

In truth, God’s Spirit and disciples are active and everywhere. Rare, it may seem from the world’s perspective, but everywhere in God’s kingdom. Thankfully, I find that spotting God’s rare birds is an everyday event for me. We are surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1), a vast flock of rare birds.

So, keep your eyes open for the rare birds among us. And remember to thank them and thank God FOR them!