43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In Run with the Horses, Eugene Peterson tells how he saw a family of birds teaching their young to fly. Three young swallows were perched on a dead branch that stretched over a lake. The mother swallow got alongside the chicks and started shoving them out toward the end of the branch. The first one fell off. Somewhere between the branch and the water four feet below, its wings started working, and the fledgling was off on his own. Then the second one took off the same way.
But the third chick was not to be bullied. At the last possible moment his grip on the branch loosened just enough so that he swung downward, then tightened again, bulldog tenacious. Mama bird was merciless. She pecked at the desperately clinging talons until it was more painful for the poor chick to hang on than risk the insecurities of flying. He let go, and the inexperienced wings began pumping. Mother swallow knew what the chick did not—that it would fly—and there was no danger in making it do what it was perfectly designed to do.
Peterson said, “Birds have feet and can walk. Birds have talons and can cling. But flying is their characteristic action, and not until they fly are they living at their best, gracefully, and beautifully.”
For me there are two points to Peterson’s illustration. First, giving is what we do best. It is what we were designed to do. Some try desperately to hold on to themselves and are miserable in the process. We don’t think we can live generously because we have never tried.
Secondly, there are people out there who are desperately hanging on to a troubled life. Everything we do at Clemmons United Methodist Church is about people—people who are lost, searching, hurting, and wanting to grow in their discipleship. They can let go and let God when we provide guidance and support through Body of Christ know as Clemmons United Methodist. We are stewards of a ministry that impacts people’s lives. We cannot forget or neglect the impact we have on people. Your generosity helps us expand the love of Christ so we can be in ministry to God’s people. Think about it.