Buzzards (aka. Turkey Vultures in our area) are opportunistic birds. They don’t really hunt their pray; they simply fly and circle around, looking to feed off what is already dead. In fact, they are reportedly shy and somewhat cowardly creatures.
As I write this blog, I am watching it snow once again. It is beautiful. But… Just a few short weeks ago, we had in our area what I have referred to as “snow-mageddon”. Harrisburg was slammed with about 30 inches of snow. It beat all records for our area. We were expecting maybe up to 14 inches, which is a lot, but no… the system moved further north than anticipated and we got buried. Needless to say, our area which typically sees that much snow over an entire season, struggled to get roads cleared, and for while was pretty much paralyzed.
I live in a community that actually pays a monthly fee for lawn care and snow removal. It’s pretty sweet. But what happens when you get a record snowfall? Trouble; and not just for our community, but all over. After some of the workers quit even before they got started, our contractors were really struggling to clear our community of the massive amounts of snow. Over the course of the next several days, people came out of the woodwork on social media, and more, complaining and angry.
To be sure, some of it was legit. Employers are notoriously unsympathetic when it comes to your being at work. (In fact I heard of one restaurant that had employees come in at the height of the storm - while authorities were telling people to stay off the roads; and all for five customers… 5! Really??? I have been looking for a “stupid” button to send them.) Numerous elderly folks had doctor appointments; and people generally had things they really needed to do. It was hard, and very, very few escaped inconvenience.
But I can’t help but see some of the complaints… some of the anger vented… as being from “buzzard” people. You have probably met them; people who always seem to look for opportunity to complain, and vent, and generally display their displeasure to all and sundry people. And nothing like a record blizzard to bring out the buzzards. On the other hand, I heard and saw some amazing examples of how some turned “snow-mageddon” into an opportunity to meet and help neighbors, many total strangers. I saw people with snow blowers and shovels, working and helping dig people out. These weren’t “random acts of kindness”, they were intentional, and it was hard work. 30inches is a lot of snow to move, especially when the sun begins to do its work. We had to shut down church because of the storm. That grieves me. And yet some friends and my son and I had opportunity to go out and dig folks out. That Sunday evening I got back home flat exhausted, but with a warm sense that God was pleased with how some (including worn out me) got to be the hands and feet of Christ, helping out others. The church became church to our community that Sunday. That’s pretty cool.
Many people are repulsed by buzzards, even finding them creepy. And yet they are magnificent and incredible creatures with a critical role to play from their Creator in our day-to-day world. Along those lines, buzzard people might seem obnoxious and wearying, but they too serve an important role. At times they remind of how we should not act; they may cause us to examine our own hearts and actions… and our words; and they also remind me that I can either be part of solving problems, or perpetuating them, even making them worse. Buzzard people are also created beings and loved by God. I have found myself praying for them… and for me. I don’t want to perpetuate problems; I want to proactively be a blessing… be a help… be Jesus. What about you?