The Pocket Parrot
The Pocket Parrot. Also known as a Miniature Parrot, or
by its official name: Parrotlet. This smallest member of the
parrot family was also the newest member of our family. The
little guy measured about 4 inches in length, from "stem to
stern", or in bird talk, from "beak to tail". Next to him,
our resident Cockatiel looked as big as a chicken! Although
this blue-feathered baby had only officially been a part of
our family for 3 weeks, he had succeeded in worming his way
deeply into my son's heart -- oh, and also deeply into each
of his shirt collars, into every sleeve and pocket, and in
one case, even down into his underpants! Hence, the
nickname, "Pocket Parrot"!
Precious, isn't it? But all of this "preciousness" only
served to make the hurt worse when he died. It happened like
this. Being so small (4 inches from "stem to stern"!), he
loved to crouch and cling to tiny things. One of the things
in his cage that he loved to cling to was a bell inlaid with
mirror. And that's where he was the day it happened. His
cage, unbeknownst to us as it's been cloudy nearly everyday
since we got him, was hanging straight in the path of the
afternoon sunshine that shone in my son's bedroom window. As
he clung to the tiny mirrored bell, the sun moved directly
in line with the little mirror and reflected its intense
rays right back onto our little bird. The shock threw him
into coma for about 9 hours before he actually stopped
breathing. Knowing how heartbroken my son would be, as soon
as he went into coma, we gathered around him, anointed him
with oil, and prayed over him. Then we placed him in a
shoebox and prayed for his healing. By the time we all went
to bed a few hours later, the little guy was barely
breathing, but he was still hanging on.
About 2:30 in the morning, I was awoken with the strong
burden to pray -- something wasn't right, but I didn't know
what. I started to pray in the Spirit, and I was impressed
that I was praying for the bird. I stopped praying in the
Spirit and began pleading with God for his life. But I had
no peace. In the end, I knew what I had to do, and I did it:
I handed him to Jesus. Immediately, I was overcome by peace.
I knew that our bird was either healed, or he had died.
Hoping for the former, I asked God to give him back to me.
In His ultimate love and kindness, God proceeded to give me
the following little vision: I saw the little bid flying out
of Jesus' hand, free and healed. I reached up my hand to
take him, but Jesus sadly shook His head and pulled His
hands out of my reach. "No," He said, "He's mine now."
Sure enough, when I came downstairs to check on him a few
minutes later, he was gone.
I am ashamed to admit what I did next. I did something that
I knew to be an effort in futility: I got mad at God. "Why,
God?" I cried out. "What did he have to die? You could have
healed him! What on earth am I going to say to my son!?"
When my outburst didn't curb my anger, I got out my journal.
I fully intended for my first entry to read like this: "Why,
God???". But it didn't. God wouldn't let me write those
words. When I put the pen to the paper, what came out went
like this: "Don't you trust me enough to know what is best
for your son?"
Well -- uh -- yes -- uh -- of course, God! Of course I -- uh
-- I trust You . . . But why would the death of his bird be
for the best, Lord? Why?
The next words went like this: "Oh the depths of the riches
of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His
judgments, how unfathomable His ways."
About this time, my son, who never wakes up in the night,
came down for a drink. "No, God!" I cried in my heart. "Not
now! Let him get a good night's sleep first! Besides! I
don't know what to say to him! I don't know how to help him
through his grief! I don't understand. How can I make him
understand! Let me understand first!"
But God's instructions were clear. "Humble yourselves,
therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up
in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares
for you. Child, let go. You don't have to fix everything in
his life. Give his feelings to Me!"
Oh, that was hard! My pride dictated that I should be the
one fixing my son's problems. But begrudgingly, I
relinquished control. What followed was truly beautiful: My
son and I sat down together and talked and cried, prayed,
told stories and read Scripture for nearly 2 hours. The
words that came out of my mouth must have come directly from
God, because in the end, my son did understand. He
understood that he didn't need to understand why, all he
needed to do was trust God explicitly to know what was best.
And he understood that in doing so, he was opening the door
to receive a blessing.
The blessing didn't take long to come. My son had saved his
money for over a year to buy this bird and when he died, he
realized it would be another year before he'd have enough
saved up for another bird. Later that same afternoon, we
received an e-mail from the breeder who sold us the bird. He
offered my son another one of his birds, for free! He said
he had a clutch that would be ready in about 5 weeks, but
that at this time he didn't know if there were any blue
males in the clutch.
My son was comforted by the thought that he would receive
another bird and would only have to wait 5 weeks. He decided
that he didn't care if the bird was blue or green, as long
as it was a male, and we proceeded to tell the breeder this.
Of course, 5 weeks did not land on a long weekend, and with
the breeder being a 4 hour drive away, just going to pick
him up would be burdensome. But God had something even
better in mind.
The next day, we received an e-mail from the breeder stating
that if my son didn't mind a green bird, he still had our
bird's brother, and he could have him as soon as
transportation could be arranged! Well, my son thought that
having his bird's brother would be almost like having his
bird back, and he readily agreed. He especially liked the
part about not having to wait 5 weeks! Now there was only
the dilemma of how to get the bird from point "A" to point
But God wasn't finished. The breeder then told us that he
has a friend who would be moving to our city the following
weekend and he would ask the friend to bring my son his new
Were we blessed, or what? And all because, like Job, my son
did not curse God. Instead, he praised Him and trusted Him
to know what was best! But the story doesn't end here.
One of the things that came out of my mouth that morning as
we sat and talked was "Maybe his death will help bring
somebody closer to Jesus!" A week later, I ran into an old
friend who was going through more problems than any human
should have to bear. I was impressed to tell her about our
pocket parrot, his death, and how God was providing for
another bird, free of charge, transportation included, in a
short period of time. When I finished the story, she told me
this was exactly what she needed to hear right then!
What transpired with my friend is what inspired me to write
up this story about our Pocket Parrot. My hope is that at
least one of you out there will realize that though God
doesn't always prevent bad things from happening, our
response to those bad things can help to dictate how much
good can come out of it in the end!
My friends, I don't know what it is that you are each
dealing with. For some, it may be death. For others,
relationship problems. For still others, financial problems,
work problems, illness, etc. But whatever it is, remember
that it isn't too big for God! Give the problem to Him, then
trust Him that no matter what happens, it will be for the
best. Praise Him for the choices He makes, then sit back and
watch the God of Heaven open His storehouse and pour out
more blessings than you will be able to hold! What an