Over the last couple of months or so, I’ve been joining my owner as he takes church services. I sit on his shoulder, and my owner explains to each congregation that as the Church of England is rapidly running out of clergy, it’s started to ordain parrots. So that means I’m in training!
I’m normally very good and sit there quietly, surveying all of the human faces in front of me. I even try to join in with the hymns but have a problem with the high notes, which come out rather like two sheets of metal being scraped against each other.
Because I’m both inquisitive and nosey, there have been a few occasions when I’ve simply had to take a closer look at somebody’s hairdo or hat. So I’ve launched myself off my owner’s shoulder and paid some unsuspecting human an impromptu visit. Usually everybody’s fine about it, and I can provide a welcome distraction from my owner’s boring sermons. However, I recently paid a visit to one of the organists as she was in full flow, and the shock of me landing on her caused a few notes to be missed.
And then last week, as I was gazing up at the organ pipes in our local church, I noticed that there were a lot of cobwebs which were beyond the reach of the human cleaners. So I decided to make myself useful, by flying up and landing on top of the organ pipes where I strutted up and down, collecting all of the cobwebs on my feathers. Not all of the humans understood. Some thought that I was misbehaving. But you know, I wouldn’t have allowed my beautiful feathers to become draped in a mess of congealed cobwebs unless I was a bird of some humility.
Humans can be very quick to judge others, when all of the time, they fail to understand what’s really in another’s heart. I’ve always liked the story of the pharisee and the tax collector. The tax collector was despised by a great many humans for being dishonest. The pharisee in the story is full of contempt towards him. But the tax collector walks into the temple to confess his sins before God and beats his chest just like a gorilla. And because his intentions were good, Jesus tells us that…
“…this man (the tax collector) rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Luke 18: 14b).
And I like to think that this parable also applies to parrots in training!