Photo and Commentary ©2019 by Robert Howson
Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Imagine a pulp fiction writer laboring over a character in his story who seemed to have everything going for him. He was smart, good looking, had an outgoing personality that drew others to him. In general he seemed to have a promising future, yet here he was, branded as a menace to society. The author has come to the point in his tale where reasons must be given, causes must be examined, something that wasn’t necessarily a pleasant thing to do.

While we might be stretching it just a bit, it appears like the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo could have been a model for the central character in his story. It too was smart; good looks were obvious, something the pet trade had certainly noticed. Personality exuded from its very being, yet here he was, hated by a considerable portion of the public. Found in wooded areas in Australia, New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia, its numbers can be so numerous that farmers consider them pests as they can do considerable damage to their crops. As a result, even though they are protected by law, permits may be obtained to shoot or poison them. Societally, people’s reaction toward this cockatoo is dependent upon how their presence impacts their wellbeing. They are loved by some, hated by others.

Fortunately, for us, there is good news, a consistency that doesn’t vary with the circumstances. But that good news isn’t based upon our attributes, our good looks or performance. It’s based upon the nature of God Himself. In Romans 5:8 Paul provides us with the bottom line in absolute clarity: “Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us.” (J.B. Phillips New Testament)