Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:7-11 (NIV)
When I offered to go out to the country to take care of my friends’ animals so that they could go to a funeral, I was thinking of your usual suspects, horses, dogs, cats. But, my friends are not your usual type of people. In addition to six horses, two dogs, and three inside cats and two outside cats, they also feed a fox, pond fish, and wild birds, including blue birds. Every morning and night, we mix the feed for the horses, grain, oats and bran with a dash of salt and garlic. The inside dogs and cats must be fed and a dish of food set in a saucer of water to prevent ants goes on the porch for the outside cats. The fox eats the leftover cat food. The fish in the stock tanks and ponds must be fed as well. I can handle the horses, the cats and dogs, even the fish and the fox, but the bluebirds are going to be a problem. Because of my friend’s love for the blue birds, she also has a small worm farm. When she took me into her garage to learn how to care for the worms, my stomach turned. I almost backed out of the deal. She has about ten large bins full of shavings, bran, beetles and worms. The medium sized black beetles lay the eggs which grow into worms and then, more beetles. She feeds the worms wedges of raw potato. I cannot describe how gross it looks to see those potato wedges totally covered in worms, feeding. While my friend leans over the bins and croons, “Oh, you were so thirsty,” to the worms, I wanted to run from the room. I could just feel those beetles and worms crawling on me! My friend assures me that worms are easy to care for. The hard part will be picking them up to put them into a saucer and take outside for the bluebirds to eat. Pick them up? No way. I use a slotted spoon to do that dirty work for me. She warned me that when I take the worms outside, a warbler will dive at me and try to steal the worms from the saucer while I am walking to where the bluebird boxes. She recommended that I let the warbler had a few worms before covering the saucer with my hand to protect the worms and save them for the bluebirds. That warbler is going to have a full stomach because I am not touching those worms. Once the bluebirds have their meal, any leftover worms go into the fish pond as a treat for the fish. It takes about two hours each day to feed all these animals. How thankful I will be to go home to my two dogs and three horses! And how thankful I am that God provides so richly for me. I wouldn’t like to be begging for worms to eat! But, if he provides for the bluebirds, how much more will He take care of you and me.