The storm that raced through Fairfax yesterday looked apocalyptic from the Great Room at the church. The trees seemed to bend in half and sheets of rain streamed down. Those of us watching from the large windows were in awe and Ronnie was a few seconds from telling us to take cover. Powerful storms are awesome to watch but can so quickly destroy much in its path.

And within a few minutes, the storm subsided with little evidence that it had even happened.

As I drove west toward home, some evidence was more prevalent. Traffic lights were out. Downed limbs and branches were strewn everywhere. As I entered the Greenbriar neighborhood, more telltale signs of damage were seen. I headed up Mount Royal Lane and right in front of me, a large downed tree in a driveway had pulled up the massive root structure and the sidewalk in its wake. It had hit a car taking out the back window. I later heard a family had been in the car on their way to graduation. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

I squeezed around to bypass the tree and I saw a momma robin standing on the trunk, searching inside the tree what I can only assume was for her babies in a nest. To me, her call seemed sad and hopeless. I watched her for a few moments jumping from limb to limb with a loud squawk.

Do birds grieve?

My son, Tim who is a neuroscientist, uses birds in his studies and believes that most likely the bird would not be grieving. Her emotion would most likely be confusion because her focus had changed. She was no longer caring for the eggs or feeding the newborns or shoring up the nest when the storm was approaching. She would be confused about her next task toward the end goal of shooing them out of the nest.

Tim seemed to think that I was mourning the possible loss more than the momma would have been. (Neither of us was surprised by that!)

So maybe as you hear this story, you put yourself in the momma’s place as I did. We, humans, are wired to have empathy for others and when we hear a story and whether it be somber or humorous, it finds a place in our soul and keeps us grounded.

Our Love Your Neighbor Story Event is this week.

Come and hear some powerful stories from nine of our own that will point us to NEIGHBOR and in turn back to each other.

We will be serving some yummy desserts from Cameron’s and the Great Room will be hosting a coffee tasting. We’ve got a great night for your kids planned, as well!

Take a minute to register today….so we know you and your group are coming!