The song birds at the bird feeder suddenly took flight. Then I saw why. I large red-tailed hawk flew into the backyard and landed in the small redbud tree at the back of the property. It was on the hunt.

            Then I noticed that one song sparrow failed to fly away. It was in the lone maple near the bird feeder, frozen in place. I watched it from my kitchen window and told it to be very still and not to  move. I think it tried to blend in with the tree’s branches.

            A few minutes later the hawk took off, flying away from the yard. Immediately, the sparrow flew the opposite direction. I started breathing again.

            It’s not that I don’t believe in the cycle of life or that hawks deserve to hunt. But this time I took the side of the defenseless sparrow. Part of our Catholic social justice calls us to watch out for the weakest members of our society. If we don’t take the side of the ‘littlest among us,’ then who will?

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil, for you are with me….”

Psalms 23:4