A Peaceful Pause

Like many others, I am more engaged in this presidential campaign year than I have ever been before. I won’t start a whole debate about who is the best prospect we have because I know this year people have very strong feelings one way or another. Nor will I point fingers at the people who have “played dirty” in their campaigns. There certainly is plenty of that.

In the midst of all the upheaval and strife in this campaign, I was so moved that one of God’s little messengers, in the form of a little yellow-green bird, that visited Bernie Sanders’ podium on Good Friday. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a minute and watch:

I have watched this video many times, and I am touched by it every time — the delight in Bernie’s face, the crowd’s reaction, and the miracle of that little bird hopping up on the sign that said, “A Future to Believe In.” It may not seem like a miracle, but this was a huge stadium, and that bird had to first of all find its way into the stadium, and then in that huge place, it could have perched anywhere, but it decided to perch on Bernie’s podium. How amazing is that?

Because I love birds, I wanted to identify the kind of bird it was. I didn’t recognize it, so I figured it had to be a bird they have out west, but not here in the east. A birder from Portland would know best. However, I think it is a female lesser goldfinch. Here is a page that has photos of lesser goldfinches. The second one down in the right-hand column is the one that convinced me. What do you think?

Regardless of the species, I love Bernie’s reaction, and the symbolism he took from it. Some people in his position (myself included) might have seen it as a confirmation that the campaign is on the right track, and perhaps a message for future success. But Bernie didn’t do that… he saw it as a bird asking for world peace. How much more profound is that?

I know that this bird has become an internet phenomenon and that Bernie’s campaign has used the image of the bird to advance the campaign. And I also know about the film “Put a Bird on It” that was about Portland. For me, this all detracts from a nearly-spiritual and certainly a transcending moment in this presidential campaign. It is a moment of relief in the tumult and unrest we’ve been experiencing in this year’s race (sometimes more like a rat race) for president. A week later, I am still grateful to that little bird.


On a different note, I have received phone calls from several people who would like to take up my offer for getting a free copy of Bonnet Strings. Because I know there could be more people wanting to receive this deal, I am extending the offer until April 30. When you buy one book (either Why I Left the Amish or Bonnet Strings), I will send you a copy of Bonnet Strings for free. You can order online or send in my order form with a check. Please let me know to whom you would like to have the books inscribed. I usually send out the orders the day after I receive them.

Happy Spring to all!

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12 thoughts on “A Peaceful Pause”

  1. So glad you posted this. I had heard about the bird, but had not taken the time to watch the video. So amazing that it should land right on his podium!!

  2. I live near Portland, Saloma, and that very likely was some kind of finch. We have a lot of goldfinches in this area, and also a lot of house finches. Very likely it was a female of the Goldfinch family. They are at my feeder in in my yard, every day. Poor little thing probably wanted a drink of water, ~~~who knows how long she had been locked up in that stadium, ~~~& could see the water in his bottle. Too bad he didn’t poor a bit out on the podium, or into a cup for her! Sometimes birds fly into my garage and then cannot figure out how to fly lower to get back out, and I catch them with a butterfly net and release them back outside! That incident was so sweet~
    Political candidates are a MESS this year…..You are NOT the only one who thinks so! The two top runners…………not sure if they even KNOW when they are LYING anymore…seems it is a habit to please the crowds!
    MS. Clinton…how can anyone trust her, after all the lies we have heard her tell? )(The Bengazi tragedy, for one example) AND MR. Trump…Wow, can you imagine how he might deal with other commanders across the world, if he disagreed with them? He needs to THINK before he speaks! … OR, MR. Sanders…does God desire a Socialist leader for America? Or the several others that are trailing….. My Guess? It is anyone’s guess!
    Heard several candidates say NO MORE WAR…but we know that the Bible says that there will always be wars, or rumors of wars, as long as the earth stands~ SO, think we all need to pray more “For GOD’s will to be done”~

    1. Thank you for confirming that it was a female finch. Do you know anything about lesser goldfinches? I don’t, because they are not in the East. I thought perhaps the water bottle attracted her.

      I share your feelings about the candidates, with one exception. Many people in this country think ‘socialist’ is a bad word because of what we know of Russia (and the USSR before that). We certainly know how Christians (and others) suffered under the Communist regime. But there are “kinder” forms of socialism. In Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe, they tend to put brakes on hyper-capitalism, such as having a rule that the top exec in a given company cannot make X number of times more than the lowest-paid worker, for example. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour fits this model, so I think of Bernie as this kind of socialist.

      I was living in Vermont when Bernie was mayor of Burlington, and I watched the city being transformed with Bernie as mayor. He surrounds himself with good, honest, smart, and hard-working people to get things done. And I believe he offers us hope that things can change for the better.

      If the “socialist” label wasn’t a factor, I wonder if more people would vote for Bernie?

  3. Elva Bontrager

    I too loved the bird- I agree that offering it water would have been a good thing, but it didn’t occur to me at the time- suspect it didn’t to those at the event either.

    For various reasons, Americans are very afraid of the label of ‘socialist’. Many don’t realize that Capitalism could not function or thrive without some socialism in tandem. Things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Post Office system, the highways system, the military, even the insurance system all are socialistic and couldn’t survive without it. Scarcely anyone would want to go back to feudal times where kings and caliphates raised their own armies, people smoothed only the roads they themselves used, hired private carriers to take their mail cross country, and had no choice but to care for their own aged grandparents and disabled loved ones, at home and with their own money. In that scenario, if your family could not care for you, you would live and die on the street. And if you were born with a physical or mental disability- heaven forfend! When costs and expenses are spread over a wide spectrum, individuals within that net are covered. Which is how it should be. What Bernie is proposing is extending the net to cover education, health care and other needs we all share.

    Thank you, Saloma.

    1. I agree… I had to watch the video several times before it hit me that the bird was probably thirsty.

      You make good points about the socialist systems we already have in place… I had not actually thought of it that way before. And you are right, even the military is a socialist system.

      Another Bernie proposal I like is having the top 0.1 percent of the people who hold more wealth than the bottom 90 percent paying more of their fair share… like maybe the fair share they were paying before Reagan began handing out huge tax breaks to the richies. That is the kind of socialism I can live with.

      Thank you for your perspective, Elva.

  4. pamela lakits

    I’m with you Saloma, that little bird was a moment of relief in what has been an ugly presidential campaign year. With all the craziness circling around the candidates its kind of nice that so many could stop for a moment and find joy in one of God’s littlest creatures. Perhaps it put things even for those few minute’s, into perspective. At least for me it did. God works in mysteries ways!!

    1. Thank you, Pamela, for your thoughts. I agree, that this did put things in perspective. Too bad it didn’t last though… ugliness came from both sides this past week.

      Happy Spring!

  5. How interesting! I hadn’t heard abut the bird at all, but have been so inundated with rhetoric on all sides about this election that I might just be tuning things out by this point in time. This was a joy to see in the midst of all the chaos of such a heated election.

    1. Agreed, Monica. Though that seems now a distant memory in the wake of this past weeks attacks.

      Happy Spring… summer will follow, and I know that is your favorite season.

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