September 13, 2010
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
Remember the spectacular landing of that US Airways jet on the Hudson River in January 2009, after Canada geese were sucked into the plane’s engines, causing them to lose power? Maybe you think that by now officials have taken steps to eliminate the problem. Well…yes and no.
The birds are at the center of a “government vs. government battle,” as an Associated Press article puts it, pitting the National Park Service against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
According to the article, officials are rounding up geese in almost every part of New York City, but they are still allowed to congregate around Kennedy Airport (which is not too far from the city’s other airport, LaGuardia). That’s because that’s where the Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area is—which includes the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge—and park personnel won’t touch the hundreds of birds who live there.
“Our mission is to protect and preserve wildlife—that’s a law—and it isn’t a given that the removal of the geese is necessary to protect the flying public,” says a park spokesman quoted in the article.
The law he refers to is the National Environmental Policy Act, which orders an environmental impact assessment before anything that could affect a natural habitat is done, the article goes on. The USDA says it’s fulfilled that requirement under a national order issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cull geese within three miles of any airport boundary—if the landowner permits it.
“In this case, that’s the Park Service. And that amounts to a Catch-22,” the article sums up.
But in another interesting twist on the subject, the feathers from the geese in the US Airways’ engines were identified as from migratory birds and not from “resident geese” like those at the wildlife refuge. So thinning the ranks of those birds wouldn’t necessarily make a difference for planes flying out of either New York airport.
The article notes that there are about 20,000 Canada geese in the metropolitan area, and at least that many pass through during migrating season, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. And you know what’s amazing? God knows each one of them. Who would think He cares so much about birds that most people find annoying and disgusting?
To think that God is able to number every single creature on earth is even more mind-boggling. And that He knows how many hairs the entire human population has on its heads, a figure that changes constantly. WOW!
It’s a fact we need to be reminded of often—the All-Powerful, All-Knowing Creator of the universe cares for us in a way no one else can. He’s aware of everything about us, everything that happens to us. And He loves us with a love that’s as boundless as that knowledge. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness,” He declares in Jeremiah 31:3.
Marvel at and rest in His great love today. Let yourself be drawn anew by that kindness.
Because He says you’re worth it.