by Emma Foster
Once there was a small finch named Michael who lived on a farm in the Kansas countryside. The farm was small with only a few acres of land, but on the land was a large red barn in which Michael lived. The barn was very comfortable because it was cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Michael had built his nest in the rafters, and every morning when he woke up he would fly out of the barn to look for worms to eat.
One day while Michael was looking for food, a woman walked down the dirt road to the farm. She carried a large easel, a canvas, a stool, and some paint. When she reached the top of the hill near the tree where Michael was sitting she sat down on the small tool and began setting her other materials down.
Michael perched on a branch and watched the woman begin painting on her canvas. She painted for what felt like hours, mixing the paints together to make different colors. The woman started with the bright green trees in the background then painted the coarse grass. Just as she was about to start painting the barn, the sky grew dark.
Michael watched until thunder rumbled in the distance. He quickly retreated to the barn as it started to rain. The woman quickly packed her things and carried off her painting so it wouldn’t become wet.
Fortunately, the rain stopped the next morning. Michael was relieved when the woman came back to continue her painting. He watched her paint again the entire afternoon until he could see that the barn was finished. The barn in the painting looked exactly like the barn in real life, and as the woman finished the painting she signed it in the bottom corner. As the woman was packing her belongings again the wind began to pick up.
Michael flew into the barn and waited with the rest of the farm animals as the wind blew harder. The wind refused to stop. It shook the barn walls furiously. All of the animals grew very afraid, and they realized that the barn was about to come down. Fortunately, the door swung open, and all of the animals galloped to a nearby field away from the tornado that was quickly approaching. Michael followed them, hiding in a hole in a tree to keep away from the wind.
When the tornado finally passed and the sky cleared, Michael came out of the tree to see that the barn was completely destroyed by the tornado. Michael saw the barn tumbled down in a large pile of wood. Many of the animals slowly returned to the barn because it was still their home, but Michael decided that he should find a new home somewhere safe.
Michael flew away until he came to a small town. Finding the nearest tree, he promptly began building a small nest.
A few days passed after Michael finished building his nest. He woke up one morning to see a small group of people gathering inside a building near him. Michael looked inside the window to see a series of paintings hung up on a wall. One of the paintings was of the barn. He recognized the lady who had painted it standing next to it, and he heard the lady announce that she was going to use some of the money from her exhibit to help rebuild the barn and other buildings that had been torn down during the tornado.
When Michael flew back to the countryside a few days later, he saw the barn being rebuilt by several construction workers. Several weeks went by before the barn was completely rebuilt, but when it was done all of the animals were happy to live in the barn again. Michael happily made a new nest in the rafters of the new barn, which kept him and the animals cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Do Not Be Anxious
Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? (Luke 12:22-24)
What a delightful story, Emma. I am glad the finch and the critters were safe, and eventually were able to have a new red barn to live in. When things unexpectedly happen, we should not become anxious. The lady came up with a way to replace her barn. Our Lord love to provide for us.