We had a distinguished Mississippian visit the offices of American Family Association recently. Our guest was, in fact, an honored icon of our state’s culture. Small, but mighty, his name is Mimus polyglottos, and he officially serves as the state bird of Mississippi. Yes, Mr. Mockingbird made his presence known here this past week, and I’m told it was not his first visit. I, for one though, hope it’s his last visit to AFA.
I know, I know, that does not sound very Christian, kind … or politically correct. And I’m fully aware that Mississippi is deemed the Hospitality State for a reason. Forgive me, but I didn’t feel too hospitable toward our guest. Let me explain.
Our fine-feathered visitor (as best we can ascertain) was a maniacal new father, bent on protecting his eggs. So, the entire staff here at AFA graciously endured and even welcomed his squeaking and squawking. We didn’t mind his constant flying back and forth, patrolling the entire street. We truly admired his tenacity and recognized the awe-inspiring beauty in one of God’s winged creations.
It didn’t take long for me to lose that admiration though. In fact, by Tuesday morning, I had entirely lost my sweet, fuzzy feelings for Mr. Mockingbird when he conducted a surprise dive-bomb attack on me as I entered the building. It wasn’t a frontal attack either. This auspicious visitor was lying in wait for me, concealed in a nearby bush. He directed a swift and mighty sneak attack with his bull’s-eye beak trained on the back of my head. It was totally effective and equally terrifying!
Mr. Mockingbird was diligent too. He tirelessly maintained his position all week long, despite wind, rain, or burning sun. An equal-opportunity soldier, our tiny warrior was no respecter of persons. He attacked any and all with equal zeal and determination. This feathered father was on a mission to protect his mate, his unborn offspring, and his nest—no matter the cost.
I confess! I had a few inhospitable, even evil thoughts toward Mimus polyglottos. Yes, I did. But, after a time of reflection and a prayer for forgiveness, I have to admit my growing appreciation for our little bird. I now find such unwavering devotion to his family rather sweet.
And upon further contemplation, I began to take pride in the fact that this prime example of a family man took up temporary residence at AFA. I was glad that he felt safe in building his nest with us. After all, we too are devoted defenders of the American family.
At AFA, we believe that a wise defense of our families must begin with a healthy fear of the Lord. The Bible puts it this way: “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26, KJV). His refuge is our best hope for an ardent defense of the family.
If only more American fathers would take up such an ardent defense of the family, like true watchmen on the walls of their homes (Ezekiel 33:6, KJV). Imagine the impact such fatherly devotion could have on our homes, our schools, our workplaces—our entire society. Take it a step further, and try to envision a nationwide aggressive fatherly protection of the unborn. It’s almost inconceivable what world change that would produce.
So, I have changed my mind about the mockingbird. I applaud his watchful defense of his nest. In fact, Mr. Mockingbird has given me a deeper conviction to pray for fathers. He reminded me that fatherhood is perhaps the most important, yet the least revered pillar of the family’s foundation.
And though our guest has taken a less militant stance now that his babes are evidently a little more self-sufficient, I have purposed, in his honor, to continue praying for American fathers. May they be ever vigilant to protect, defend, and love their families—with the same courageous love of our brave little mockingbird.