I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer a little over a year ago.Â A non-smoker, this all came as a huge, life-changing event.Â Thankfully, my oncology doctors have never given me a time-frame for living.Â This has allowed me to choose life and to live for the future.Â Interestingly, my quest for purple martins has played nicely into this, helping me project hope and not catastrophe.Â In all fairness to my Creator, Iâ€™ve put total confidence in the life He has given me whether purple martins come or not.Â For those who know the redeeming work of Christ and the abiding presence of the Spirit, joy can rout despair, and hope can be projected into the future.
Now back to my purple martin passion.Â Iâ€™ve kept an annual log of when I begin playing CDâ€™s, when birds visit, how long they stay, and whether they are adult or juvenile birds.Â Iâ€™ve learned that if I donâ€™t get martins in the spring, I can play the “Daytime Chatter” in late summer and draw in young birds (HY = Hatching Year) on their migration south over Kidron, Ohio.Â This summer was a banner year for juvenile birds stopping in for a visit.Â Even now as I peck away on this keyboard, there are five HY martins out back on the perch above the gourds.
Sometimes we are disappointed by outcomes that fall short of our hopes.
Several people assured me that I would get purple martins this past spring.Â I didnâ€™t, but seeing these young birds swoop down, in late summer, check out my housing, preen their feathers and soar overhead was absolutely delightful.Â Iâ€™m hoping theyâ€™ll remember this special place all prepared for them as they fly north next May.Â Hope is a good thing.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)Â What a great word from the heart of God!Â I hope to be here when they return.Â I wouldnâ€™t want to let them down.
Surrounded by hopeful signs,
Purple Martin Paul