Note: This is a repost from 2010; however, as I prayed for single mom’s, raising their children without a dad, this past Father’s Day, I was reminded how much prayer these warrior women need. Single parenting is definitely one of the “hard things.”
For the past several weeks we have been blessed with a visiting family in our yard. A North Carolina Wren built her nest in a birdhouse hanging from our tree. Birds teach me so much about God, His love and His merciful provision to even the smallest of His creatures. The wrens painstakingly got their nesting exactly as they wished. We watched them for days bringing twigs and fuzzy things to the house. Both Mom and Dad wrens were quite industrious and finally their mission was accomplished. Soon we saw Mrs. Wren enter the house and stay for hours at a time. This went on for days. One day when we knew they were both nowhere in sight, my husband opened the birdhouse (he crafted it with knobs that would separate the top from the bottom), and found four small brown eggs. Quads, right in our own front yard – how exciting!
The time came when the eggs hatched and the feeding schedule began. Feeding always involves both Mr. and Mrs. Bird and as we watched for several days, we realized that there was only one wren doing all the hunting and the feeding. There is no way of knowing whether it was the male or the female – we only knew that something must have happened to the mate and this hard-working wren was wearing itself out feeding four baby birds. It is fairly normal for baby birds to be fed for about seven to ten days before flying away and becoming independent – but because there was only one bird doing the work of two, the feeding went on for a full two weeks. Our garden was the wren’s hunting ground for bugs, worms, and anything else that would serve as food!
Last night we watched the wren go back and forth, back and forth and as it began to get dark, the bird entered the house to spend the night with her fledglings. I told my husband, these babies are going to fly soon – they are just about coming out of the hole when the food is being delivered. This morning, the announcement was made – the feathered quads flew away! My first thought was, that single parent went into that birdhouse last night and delivered the final lecture…”Okay kids, this is it. I am tired, worn out and you are old enough and healthy enough to fend for yourselves – in the morning you are being pushed out of here so I can get some rest!”
Well, that’s just what happened. Is there a moral to this story? Yes, parenthood at its best is hard and all time consuming; single parenthood is twice as hard and twice as time consuming. I know from first-hand experience. Do we know any single Mom’s or Dad’s? Let’s offer them our support, our help when possible, and most definitely let’s pray for them. We could be helping the “least of these.”
“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about?
When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink?
And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’
Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’