By Rae Lynn DeAngelis

Several years ago, we had a robin terrorizing our home every morning. At the first sign of daylight, the bird threw himself into our window…smack… smack… smack! This became our wake-up call every morning at 6:00 am. I began to wonder if the bird was possessed or something. Either that or the collisions into our windowpane had caused the poor fowl to develop some brain damage. One thing was for sure; the crazy bird was getting on my very last nerve!

My husband and I grew extremely annoyed and tried everything we could to get the aggressor to stop his maddening assault. We pounded on the window pane, trying to scare it away, but it was only a temporary fix. We even tried putting a rubber snake on the windowsill outside, but the bird wasn’t the least bit intimidated. Like clockwork, the relentless flying creature continued his attack on our home.

We eventually grew so crazy with frustration that one morning, before the sun came up, my husband hid in our kid’s playhouse to see if he could catch the winged demon in action. Armed with our son’s BB gun, my husband waited and waited, oblivious to the questioning neighbors peering out their windows at him. After a full two hours—you guessed it—the bird never showed.

Later that same day, I was in my bedroom changing clothes and noticed the beady-eyed little villain staring at me through the glass. I screamed and shut the blinds. How could one little bird wreak so much havoc!

Things aren’t always as they seem. After reading an article in a magazine, I learned that robins are territorial birds. Apparently, our little pest was guarding his domain. He must have seen his own reflection in our window pane and thought the image was another bird. The bird wasn’t possessed at all; he was just doing what his instincts told him to.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” (Psalm 111:10a)

We often misinterpret the actions of others when it comes to things that greatly annoy or frustrate us. Convinced that the person is purposely trying to irritate us, we fail to see that in reality they are simply responding in ways that come most naturally to them. These ‘instincts’ are often learned behaviors that develop over many years and become gut reactions that are provoked by negative emotions. Like that little bird, the person is probably clueless that their behavior is bothersome to others.

“But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.” (Job 32:8)

Is there someone who is getting on your very last nerve? Perhaps you should share your distress. Open communication just might lead to better understanding. Who knows, a little thoughtful consideration coming from each side just might lead to changed hearts for everyone.

“My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.” (Hosea 11:8)

What happened to our little winged assailant? The bird continued its assault until fall. Then we finally had some peace and quiet… at least for a little while. The following spring the robin was back!