For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:33
There are a lot of things I wish I were; thin, tall, better at math and more focused in silent prayer. On the other hand there are a lot of things I’m glad I’m not; homeless, friendless, Godless and a mother Pelican. Yup, you read that right…I’m glad I’m not a mamma Pelican. Before you think I’ve lost my marbles let me tell you a story. The legend of the Pelican may be old news to many, a beautiful reminder to some and all new stuff to others. I’ve run across the legend of the Pelican three times very recently and three is a magic number for me. I always ask God to give me things three times if it’s really important so when the third reference to mamma Pelicans came to my attention the other day I knew right away what my next post was going to be about.
Mamma pelicans have a blood red tip to their beak and legend says it’s symbolic of a behavior. When a mother can’t find food for her young, she will thrust her beak into her breast and allow her young to be fed from her very being. Talk about the ultimate self-sacrifice. What strikes me as truly amazing is that this particular bird is not noted for its beauty or performance in any way. It doesn’t have a notable song or a sweetness that would make it a popular species. By many standards Pelicans would even be considered a nuisance without noble purpose. Does that story remind you of anyone?
Pelicans can be found in Church art because they symbolize the same kind of self-sacrificing love and blood shed demonstrated by Jesus Christ himself. The blood of the new covenant was shed to give each of us life; eternal life and life to the fullest. Like the Pelican, the gift comes from a surprise donor…not one of nobility and notoriety but one of humble, simple and underestimated greatness. How often we judge by appearance instead of by truly important standards.
During this Lenten season let’s give up judgment and comparison and try harder to see the things that simmer below the surface. Let’s also remember the magnitude of the gift given to us by Jesus on the cross.
A Seed To Plant: In your prayer time this week, find an image of a Pelican and a crucifix, pray with them pondering the great gift of self-sacrificing love they represent.
Blessings on your day!
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