Parental Care

I gazed in awe all spring long as I watched avian parents make run after run to their nests with beaks’ full of bugs for their babies. At times, there were only a few minutes between visits. I marveled how they had the endurance for such toil and labor and still cared for themselves. At least the entire bird parental process only lasts a few weeks, while for us humans it lasts eighteen or more years!

Baby Chipping Sparrows awaiting parental care. Clarke County, Georgia. July 24, 2018. ©

But “parental care” took a new definition for me as I answered a call back home these last few weeks. My aging father, who so diligently cared for me as an often ungrateful youngster, could no longer live on his own. I regret that being over 800 miles away and involved in the ministry, we couldn’t provide that care personally, but found a wonderful, brand new assisted living complex for him. At least my wife and I know he is being cared for.

While the phenomenon of children caring for parents isn’t seen in the bird species, it is a Biblical concept and obligation. In a time of trouble and distress, we read of King David providing for the care of his parents.

And David said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me. And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold. I Samuel 22:3-4

Chipping Sparrow feeding three nestlings. Clarke County, GA. July 24, 2018. ©

Even so, isn’t it just natural to care for those who raised us with such tender love and care until they go into everlasting care with our eternal Father?

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

2 thoughts on “Parental Care

  1. Really like the first shot, we often overlook what it takes to actually make it to the adult shots we spend most of our time in the field taking – birth-nurturing-learning-trying and then finally spreading our wings to take on the world. A faster process in the bird world, but the cycle holds true with the exception of humans taking on the final tasks of taking care of those that prepared us for life.

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  2. So true William, it is interesting how the Lord has us experience being cared for in our formative knowledge years followed by us having to become the carers in our parent wisdom years. We get to appreciate both sides by the time we are in our golden understanding years. It is also interesting that with the more intelligent birds, such as Magpies, Ravens and many raptors, where they have to teach their young and train them as we do ours, the feeding and training can be many months and years. The grace of the Gospel is seen in it all, that we have to first receive as children before we can give out of what we have received, and what has been built into our lives. Grace and love bring forth grace and love. So in conclusion, we can only be and do good and love in life after we have first like children received the same. Receiving God’s Grace equips us to do good works and not the other way around. This is God’s way for us, to always be totally dependent on him like a child, even as an adult. As he is the source of life and we were formed to trust and rely on his leading for our lives.

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