How Do You Know?

When my realtor arrived with  binoculars  in hand to view “the bird”, she informed me one of her customers was admiring my falcon. A falcon? This was the third year the raptor whom neighbors and I agreed was a red-tailed hawk had been residing in one of my trees high above “screeching” to all whom would listen.

I was not thrilled about having a hawk as my backyard neighbor, for more than once “mean Momma” had swooped down toward my small therapy dog, frightening each of us he would be taken for an unsolicited ride. Nonetheless, I had enjoyed watching Momma Hawk’s little ones voice their opinion about the latest  news, weather conditions and of course the most important; “I’m hungry.” I was always melancholy when the small, white fuzzy heads were no longer visible.

For someone to say my feathered neighbor was not a hawk, caused me to begin my research.  Due to the locale of my home; central Oklahoma, falcons are not as prevalent as hawks. I listened to recorded sounds of both falcons and hawks and researched their nesting habitat.  I had to agree with numerous other individuals.  This “loud mouthed” neighbor that has taken up residence in my back yard is indeed a hawk. Although I’m not an ornithologist, my instinct is to agree with the other “hawk” amateurs.

I pondered how wonderful it would be if people would take the time to research us as their neighbors, colleagues or fellow church members. How often have you been labeled as someone you were not? Of course, we all understand it is easier to identify the difference among humans than the differences among birds. Yet, it is gratifying to know someone took the time to “know” us and not merely label us as “birds of a feather.”

As a teen, I was keenly offended when accused of being wealthy. Nothing could be more inaccurate. I was reared on government commodities in a tiny, leased house. My parents primary seating for our living room was an old, soiled and tattered sofa with protruding springs. My mother placed a frayed blanket over the bulging spring to avoid tearing clothing or injuring visitors to the sofa. The cliché of “hanging on by a thread” was valid for the description of our curtains. They could not be touched, as my mother feared they would totally disintegrate, and we would have barren windows.

To state “as fact”, I was wealthy was as insulting as it was deceitful. I became a seamstress at age ten when I joined our local 4-H club, obtaining clientele before I was fourteen.  The customers paid me the same amount for labor as they spent on purchasing their fabric and supplies. I now realize this was “child labor”, but for me, it was a way to increase my wardrobe. When I entered the “other world” I appeared to be “in vogue”. Folks didn’t know my clothes were “handmade” and assumed that I was a different “bird” than I was, but God knew.  John 10:14 NIV “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

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