Brilliant. Beautiful. Graceful. Pleasant. Stately. Confident. Cocky.
He couldn’t help being “cocky.“ That’s how God made him, the very peacock that he is (was). Through the years, I’ve witnessed the “cockiness” of the wild turkeys that strut our yards and fields – of the pheasant that crosses the road as though he owns it, which he does! Likewise, it was the innocent, stately, God-given confident “cockiness” that brought about Gary Hancock’s demise yesterday afternoon as he crossed the road he assumed he owned.
How very sad to pull in my driveway and see his beautiful stature limp and lifeless on the roadside grass – a photo I will not include in this article. He had been killed by a passing car. There was no blood or gore. Simply a broken neck – the long, brilliantly- blue neck of this magnificent bird.
He came to us, Jesse and Amber, Ben, Kaylee, Ron and me, from across that very road seven weeks prior. My heart had been heavy from months of distress. He brought a beautiful diversion into my life and much joy to all of us. I soon realized that God had sent him at this very time.
We shortly discovered that we shared custody of this beautiful creature with the couple who live across the road. They had named him Gary, and Ben had named him Hancock – thus the name Gary Hancock.
Gary Hancock roosted in the large horizontal limb of the Box Elder tree, along the lane of the small woods adjoining our yard. He always settled in just at dark, and he awoke at daylight or before! We could have set our clocks by his first scream at 5:15 AM. But we didn’t mind.
He crossed the road early each morning and spent a couple hours on the soft pine needle bed in the shade of the pine trees. Back-and-forth he wandered throughout the day, always out and about unless it rained. Occasional honks and screams erupted from his large beak, especially when loud noises were made throughout the neighborhood. He didn’t like sudden noises! And of course, he didn’t like to be chased! He ran and flew 50 feet high into the nearest tree when Ben’s dog, Champ chased him!
Gary Hancock especially hated the fireworks at Butler Motor Speedway this summer and the resulting noisy traffic travelling our road about midnight. He screamed a lot those evenings!
Besides his beauty, I think I will miss his “listening ear” the most! Yes, Gary Hancock was a good listener. As I sat on my porch, studying God’s promises, and pouring my heart out to Him in prayer, Gary Hancock strutted back-and-forth, just a few feet away, on the other side of my porch railing, occasionally pausing and cranking that long neck and face, gazing directly at me. Then he lay in the mulch, patiently listening to my every word!
My time with this gorgeous bird always reminded me that our God is the Awesome Creator, and that Gary Hancock’s beauty is but a touch of what God has in store for us throughout eternity.
Non indigenous to Michigan- or the Americas! – but brought here from another continent many years ago, God knew even then, that this very summer, this beautiful bird would grace my life just at a time I needed it the most.
I keep listening and looking across the lawns for him all morning – until I realize that he won’t be here. Soon, he’ll be just a memory, but a pleasant memory, of a once-in-a lifetime summer he blessed our lives.
For the last 10 years, I have prayed Isaiah 46:10,11 over my family, asking God to “use a bird or a man (or whatever) to fulfill his purpose” for us – His purpose of healing and His purpose of drawing us close to Him. Throughout these years, I’ve always assumed God would use a person or whatever, but never truly saw him use “a bird “until this summer! Yes, this summer, it happened. God used a “bird,” a very beautiful “bird”!
Open your Bible or find it online. Isaiah 46:10,11. Read it. Pray it. He will use “a bird or a man” or whatever to fulfill His marvelous purpose for you – His purpose of healing or bringing comfort – of reconciliation or of joy – and most definitely of drawing you or your loved ones close to Himself! It’s a beautiful thing! And full of grace!