WorshipWeb: Braver/Wiser: A Weekly Message of Courage and Compassion

Saving What We Can

By Lynn Gardner

“This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.”
–Naomi Shihab Nye, in “Gate A-4”

On a chilly winter morning, my beloved and I took our small, shy dog for a walk to a nearby park. The morning light, frozen pond, and snow were all lovely. On the way home we walked past a neighborhood pizza place that has two apartments above it. There was a red-headed house finch fluttering around one of the upstairs windows.

With a snow-covered landscape visible outside, a bird trapped inside of a window flaps its wings.

Then we noticed another bird on the inside, trying to get out. One pane of a double-hung window had been left open in the attic, and the little bird had managed to get into the opening and was now stuck inside the house. We watched the birds trying to reach each other through the glass.

I went around to the back of the building, found three doorbells, and tried the one at the top. A bearded and tattooed man came to the door and looked through the glass at me. I explained that there was a bird trapped inside and was hoping someone would help it. "I'll check on it," he said.

We stood out on the sidewalk and watched as he appeared in the window. He studied the situation for a moment, then jostled the window open, propped it with a piece of wood, and lifted the screen as well. The little bird fluttered around inside. The man found a piece of cloth, and carefully guided the bird out the window. It flew into the bright air, across the street, where it landed on a branch.

I felt amazingly happy and cheered and wept. It had been a month with a lot of loss for people we care about. And on that morning, we got to help save one small bird. Not everything is lost. So here's to small joys, and saving what we can.


Source of Possibilities, as we move through the world, may we be open to times when our presence, actions, or words may make a difference. In our times of need, may we each be saved by hope, connection, and love.

About the Author

Lynn Gardner

Rev. Lynn Gardner (they/them/she/her) serves as co-minister in Schenectady, NY. Prior to ministry, she ran a multicultural in-home day care program, and is grateful to continue to serve families with young children in a multi-generational congregation....


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