A BIRD WITHOUT A BRANCH TO LAND ON

A bird without a branch to land on

Bob Hatcher

January 15, 2011

          “I feel like a bird without a branch to land on”, said a little boy in Haiti one year after the earthquake. Things are not back to normal in Haiti.  But then, “NORMAL” is a pretty unhappy state in Haiti.

In Haiti, children have been separated from parents and grandparents. Food has been a struggle. Emergency temporary tents are deteriorating. And now in the past few weeks cholera has raised its ugly head.  Cholera is a horrible disease that complicates efforts to feed, provide safe water and meet the health needs of 8.3 million people. 

Haiti is a nation where hunger and malnutrition were widespread problems made exponentially worse by the earthquake a year ago. In Haiti 80% of people live under the poverty line and 54% live in abject poverty. No, Haiti did not need cholera. 

Behind this phase “I feel like a bird without a branch to land on” could lurk so many feelings, so many realities, so many unhappy truths: loneliness, homelessness, lack of a job, lack of a sense of purpose, indecision, depression, fear, hunger, anger, and despair.   Chronic unremitting pain could move a person in the direction of feeling an overwhelming sense of helplessness. 

Perhaps Christ, in the garden of Gethsemane, the night before his crucifixion, felt some of this sense of abandonment when his closest disciples had fallen asleep. He went to them and asked “Couldn’t you have stayed awake with me?” Maybe he felt a bit like a bird without a branch to land on in spite of being surrounded by those gnarly old olive trees.

Try to imagine just how you would you feel were you eleven years old and separated from family, home, food and school? What changes could happen to you that could lead you to feel like a bird without a branch to land on?

Are there people in Rabun County who feel this morning like a bird without a branch to land on? Of course there are. They are described in many issues of this paper.

Does everyone at some time or other feel like a bird without a branch to land on?  If not everyone, almost everyone, at one time or another. When in your life have you felt most like a bird without a branch to land on?