Just Stand Up


It knew better, but it happened anyway.

It tried, but it wasn't enough.

It is what happens when you run scared and you are not prepared for what may lie ahead.

It can happen to the best of us, too.

I speak from experience.

It was one of those special days. Yes, I know, they are all special. This day came after a few long, difficult weeks for me. So, any variation, any positive sign would make the day stand out of the ordinary.

It was a very "spring-like" day. It was warm after the winter chill. It was bright after the darkness.

That alone would make one take notice of things worth noting.

Trying to overcome my recent challenges I made the effort to spend a little time on my treadmill.

Not only is it good for me physically, but it is the perfect way to clear my mind.

My treadmill is situated so I can look out into my back yard. I listen to music and watch the birds and squirrels play around the feeder.

At last count that day there were eight squirrels and many of my favorite birds. Not just the colorful ones that grab your attention easily. I am a sucker for the common Sparrow and the Black Capped Chickadee.

Suddenly they all scattered. It happens at the slightest noise sometimes. But this was because of a predator.

A hawk came swooping in for lunch. Of course, it wasn't after bird seed. It landed on top of the pole and quickly looked around to see what was available on the buffet.

Nothing. They all scattered about and left the hawk frustrated and still hungry.

I stopped my walk and opened the door to scare it away.

It was then I looked down and saw one of my visitors.

A small common sparrow lie in front of my door.

In the rush to get away, it had apparently hit the door.

I stood there for a moment hoping it was briefly stunned.

It didn't move. I touched it and decided it must have succumbed to the accident.

Closing the door I went inside to get a paper towel. It is a blessing for me to take birds I find in my yard and wrap them in a paper towel. I take them up to a large rock near the back of the garden and place them underneath.

A brief ceremonial prayer and thanks to God makes me feel better.

I was just about to open the door and discovered a number of sparrows on the deck surrounding the fallen bird. I did not want to startle them, so I watched.

I know nothing about whether birds "know" about loss. Or if they are capable of trying to help one another. This group, however, appeared to be doing just that.

It was amazing to watch.

One kept hopping up to the injured bird and nudging it.

I watched this unfold for a few minutes and just when I thought I better take it away, its wings fluttered. I stopped and watched as it flapped and struggled to stand up. The birds around it seemed to cheer it on.

Then, with little effort it and all of it's friends flew away.

It was astonishing.

During my walk on the treadmill I had a conversation with God. I don't "pray" I talk, like I'm talking to a friend, a relative, or my father.

It's okay. I think He enjoys my company.

I was asking God to help me begin again. I had just experienced a great loss in my life. I had fallen to an all too familiar low and the walls in the hole I was living in began to crumble around me.

It seemed everything went wrong. I couldn't walk two feet without stumbling over my self pity. My computers crashed and that prevented me from doing the one thing that still brought me joy. Writing.

My finances took a hit. My ego was beaten down and my depression was beating me up.

In my weak, almost worthless state of mind, I had a talk with God.

I said, "I quit."

He said, "Just stop where you are until."

"Until when?" I asked.

"You'll know," He replied.

That's when I wrote to you to tell you that I would be off line for awhile.

That's when you all gathered around me like the sparrows and nudged me, waited for me, prayed for me to "Just stand up."

I didn't know how long it would take for me to do that. It has only been a few weeks. I wasn't sure I was ready.

But, God sent me a sparrow today to tell me it's time.

I am healing. I am trying. I discovered that, like the sparrow, I had to "just stand up" before I could fly again.

I have one favor to ask. This is difficult for me to share, but I have always been open with you.

Please pray for my wife, Marianne. She is starting over again, too.

Without me. It was the reason I crashed in the first place. We were together nearly 25 years. I don't blame her. She was able to get up on her own She is still unemployed and living on the west coast.

She deserves a better life than what we had.

If this message finds you struggling, if you have hit a wall and can't get up. Consider me one of those Sparrows.

If you can't believe, I will believe for you.

Bob Perks

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