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Her back patio was a beauty spot. She had an unusual touch in arranging the abundant and varied plants chosen to grace this sight. The birds feasting at the feeders added interest.

My gracious hostess and I were enjoying the refreshing California morning air and the brightness of the eastern sky as we sipped our freshly brewed coffee. Seemed like the mourning doves were enjoying the early hour as much as we were . . . as they flitted about from their walkway on the wall, to one feeder and then another.

Talk about solitary relaxation, this was it. We were enjoying this peaceful quietness to the full. Then, there it was . . . the beautiful, brilliant yellow bird with the graceful body, and long tail, a magnificent specimen of God's creation. Our attention was drawn to him immediately. He appeared from nowhere and had never been seen before.

First we thought it to be a canary, escaped from his home cage, but he was much too large for that. While trying to decide what species he might be, we couldn't help but note his behavior. As he strutted atop the patio wall, he pushed the other birds aside. He flew to the largest feeder and pecked the others off. Demanding his spot. . . he ate, and ate, and ate ! He acted like king of the compound.

From where and how far had he come? Why was he so hungry? Why was he so demanding? Where did he belong? These questions hung in the air. He was exquisite, assuredly yes. But the regular home bodies were not at ease with this up front intruder. After he had eaten his fill, he flew off, out into the great beyond. He was the subject of conversation off and on throughout the day. We didn't see him again. A magnificent specimen of God's great creation had appeared and departed in such a short period of time. However, his actions took the edge off our admiration.

Later, I was reminiscing on the enjoyable visit with my California friends. The relaxing patio area with the Yellow Bird came to mind. I thought, Could God have a lesson here for us to learn. As we enter the lives of other people, are we accepted only for our charm, apparel and visitor newness? What actions and attitudes do we demonstrate? What is our final approval rating? Are we freely taken in as one of the group, or could there be second thoughts? Maybe it would be well for us to take inventory of our personal traits. Worth thinking about, right?

Paul must have known some people with this problem, for he has something to say about it. In Romans 12:3 he admonishes us "not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, …" and again in Galatians 6:3 he cautions us, "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Paul's advise can challenge us, not to be remembered like the Yellow Bird. Thank you Paul!

Elsie K. Young

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