Oranges and Grape Jelly

If you have any extra Yellow Finches at your house, will you send them over? Carole is lamenting that Finches have rejected her again this year. She puts the best lures out. A Finch will show up and then break her heart by never coming back. She takes it personally.

I see the 56,000 Sparrows that visit daily and assume they are Yellow Finches that just haven’t changed colors, yet.

The Lady and I were contemplating something way more serious while looking out the living room window yesterday and a Baltimore Oriole landed. It was stunning! Since this brand of bird has ignored us for decades, it felt like a breakthrough—we are movin on up. What beauty! I cannot overstate how beautiful that Oriole is.

You know the routine. Now, we have to entice the scout to return and bring cousins. After making a call to her Audubon Society-wise daughter, Carole was on the move.

The view out of our living room window this morning is funny—to me. It appears we are having a post-Easter Orange-Egg Hunt. There are pieces of orange in trees, dishes, hastily built containers and stuck in bushes. In case the Oriole isn’t into oranges today, there are globs of grape jelly strung around.

We are a Baltimore Oriole friendly safe environment. I think the one problem will be that any Oriole scout is going to step in the grape jelly trying to get to the orange which will discourage him from returning. I can see the bird trying to shake the jelly off his toes in disgust. And break Carole’s heart again. She’s been slightly depressed lately, so you may want to pray that God will give us favor with the bird community.

Perhaps I should have named the book, “Baltimore Orioles at Dawn.” (Mockingbirds at Dawn goes to the publisher on Friday.)

The largest church in the region has established a satellite church in our city. It also purchased an empty, abandoned saloon to be a drop-in center. “Dilapidated” doesn’t come close. I’ve visited the rehab project a couple of times and they are doing a great job. They have refurbished the booths, totally gutted and rebuilt the building inside and out.

Some folks who don’t quite get missional thinking are concerned. “I hope they are not disappointed—it is a rough neighborhood.” The visionaries are expecting, drunks, addicts, gangbangers and kids with nowhere else to go.

What kind of “grape jelly” and “oranges” should they hang on the street signs out front to entice people and to get them to come back?

I like what I feel hanging out with the construction crew and the campus pastors. I like the feel of the booths with words and names carved in the wood. I’ve listened to city pastors as they pray over that ministry. I like the sense that this is part of what Jesus had in mind when He said, “You shall receive power to be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8).

Copyright 2014 D, Dean Benton

Benton Quest House 

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