At the very end of this article, there is a story about a sacrifice that ended in death, with a father sacrificing his son so that others could live. This is just as blue jays, who have given their lives defending their nestlings. Parents do the same thing everyday. Watching, protecting, and giving their lives in a labor of love for their children until they leave the nest too. They may not sacrifice their life, but they give their life, each and every day and night, and even after they leave the nest, they are still their for their children.
I noticed one day that a young blue jay nestling had fallen out of the nest in our backyard. It looked so utterly helpless. And our neighborhood had several cats. As I went outside to try and help this defenseless little nestling, I noticed it could only fly about three to five feet in the air, but only about two feet off the ground. I tried to retrieve it but it was too fast for me. Meanwhile, I was being dive-bombed by several blue jays while an incessant “alarm call” was being sounded; the shrill ’jaaay’ from which blue jays get their name. They sent warnings into our neighborhood. I noticed that the other blue jays had joined in to form somewhat of a protective shield around the grounded nestling. Obviously there were more than just the parents who were involved in protecting this nestling.
My cats also discovered, to their dismay, that the blue jays did not appreciate them in the bac yard while their nestling was on the ground. So they dive-bombed the cats if they came anywhere near our backyard. They literally drove the cats away and have since, for the last two weeks, terrorized the cats that they can hardly come to our back porch to feed. They had to settle for eating at night; that was the only time the bluejays relented from their dive-bombing.
These bluejays risk their own lives to protect their young with a community of blue jays joining in. I already knew that blue jays are cocky, bold and are also the backyard bullies of birds. They dominate the other birds in our backyard. We have a bird bath and a bird feeder, so we have several birds that feed and water here. Only the tiny hummingbird is brave enough and is actually more aggressive than the jays. The blue jays are sometimes a little too bold, however, when a nest is around, they are much more aggressive with the cats.
Another thing is that the male blue jays are normally aggressive with each other, but when a blue jay nestling is on the ground and in danger, they seem to join forces in protection of the young defenseless one. How much like humans they are in this regard. When something that families have in common is threatened, they seem to be more willing to cooperate in protecting them.
The blue jays, unlike some married couples, do stay together for life. When one dies, the other soon follows. This pattern is sometimes seen among long married couples. But the similarities remain. Parents and blue jays would easily risk their own lives to protect their young even if this means death. The analogy of the dive-bombing blue jays and parents is most beautiful. What about the young nestling? It did survive. In a few days, and as far as I could tell, the young blue jay joined the parents in the upper branches of our 100-year-old pecan tree. It lived. Thanks in great part to the sacrifice and brave actions of its parents. I think we could learn much from these blue jays.
Blue jays are very bold and have been known to attack Cooper hawks, which prey upon birds. But if the blue jays are parents, that changes everything. Blue jays are incredibly protective of their young. They are as protective as humans are of their own children. They have been known to attack large predators, including humans, like they dive-bombed me when I was trying to help the young nestling. The blue jay parents and other blue jays joined in the dive-bombing when I tried to reach for the blue jay nestling. This makes a great analogy for human parents who will risk their own lives to protect their children. Most parents would sacrifice their own life to save their young.
I found a pile of blue feathers one day. They were the feathers of a blue jay. Were they from one that was defending its nestling? I don’t know, but it is possible.
Not that many years ago, a drawbridge keeper was also a ’switchman’ for trains that that crossed above large rivers. The bridges were normally left in a position that let ships pass, but this same drawbridge was also used by trains to cross the river. The switchman had to extend the bridge for trains at certain times, but also had to make sure the drawbridge was out of the way again for passing ships.
On one particular day, and after checking to ensure that the locking mechanisms were not working properly, he understood that if he didn’t fix them manually, the train would crash into the river. What made it more urgent was the fact that it was a passenger train.
The drawbridge keeper understood that he had to race to the control box and lock it into place manually, and after it failed to hold, he had to hold it manually, underneath the tracks. It was only then that he looked up at the track and saw his son crossing the tracks in search for him. His son was yelling, “Daddy…Daddy where are you?” His father yelled for his son to run but his father could not hear and then took off to grab him. Only at that moment he froze in his tracks. If the drawbridge keeper left his post, the passenger train would crash into the river, killing hundreds of people, but if he didn’t, his son would surely die. The father had no choice but to see his son die to save the lives of those on the train.
None of the passengers on the train saw the helpless boy’s body go flying in the air nor did they hear the boy’s dead body hit the water below. No one ever noticed the father crying incessantly under the bridge who had sacrificed his own son so that the passengers could live. Nobody saw or heard this father’s agony. Once, another father had sacrificed his son to bridge the gap between death and eternal life. A great chasm was covered so that the passengers could live. This story is fictional, but indeed, a great chasm was bridged for unaware human beings and certain death. A great divide has been closed by a father’s sacrifice. This same gap between life and death was bridged by Jesus Christ and the father was The Heavenly Father.
Originally published on: http://www.associatedcontent.com/jackwellman