Monday, August 31, 2009

The Birds and Me

Three kinds of birds are in my life talking to me these days.

I've been a birdwatcher since I was very small. Bird-lister, they call folks like me. The sport involves finding a new species somewhere, anywhere, adding him to your list, and going on to the next one. Pretty simple stuff. My list only amounts to about 230 after all this time. But the memories that go with having found a particular bird, the people who were with me, the place where I was visiting, it's a nice way to tie a life together.

There's a year-round cardinal (redbird to some of you) in my back yard who literally gives me "cheer" in the winter, reminds me he is a "birdie" other times, and seems to welcome me back when I've been away for awhile. God has used him as the "lifter of my head" on more than one occasion.

But there are other birds. For four years there were large mechanical birds that grumbled and growled as they passed over my house. They mocked me and told me I'd never fly like they do. One day I called their bluff. Now they hum on their transit. They call me to get on board with a smile.It seems they are all heading toward the northeastern parts of Asia... Maybe my imagination...

Then the other ones. Oh my. I told you about them before. Remember the "birds of Yanji", residents of that Chinese town near North Korea's border?

This bird has been nicknamed by some kotjebi, the "flower-swallow". In actuality, he's a child. But "child" does not really describe him. He lives in North Korea and surrounding areas. He flits from eating place to eating place, simply trying to survive. No parents. No care at all unless arrested and placed in institutions, "cages". There he is often slowly starved, out of sight of any who can do anything about it. If he gets out of the cage, he is a nuisance, and despised. He becomes a thief. But he's just hungry... Sounds like a bird to me. Couldn't be human.

The birdwatcher in me is stirred. Here is a species I have never seen. But one who only lists birds, what can he do? Unless, of course, the Caretaker of all earth's creatures happens to come along.

Kotjebi! Don't despair! You are loved after all!

Look for Bob Faulkner's home page on There you will find a combination of love for the Scriptures and a desire for North Korean believers to have their needs met. There are nearly 300 blogs, over 200 Bible teaching MP3's, lists of resources, NK picture albums, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together! Contact me any time at

And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. Would love to fellowship with believers who respond .

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