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Keith Wishum: If your heart doesn’t sing

The newly widowed woman was lonely. Thinking that just the sound of a voice around her house would provide comfort, she went to a pet store and purchased a parrot. At first, she fussed over it and was thrilled to have its company. Soon, however, she returned to the pet store with a complaint, “My parrot won’t talk.”
“Hmmm,” thought the storeowner. “Do you have a mirror near the cage? The birds really like company and a mirror makes them think another parrot is there. She might talk if she had a mirror.”
So the lady bought a mirror and placed it by her parrot’s cage. It got the bird’s attention, but several days passed and the parrot still would not speak. So, back to the pet store she went with the same complaint, “My parrot will not talk.”
“Really,” said the shopkeeper. “That’s odd. Do you have a ladder in the cage? They need exercise and they love to climb the ladders and hang on them. She may just need a little exercise to get her feeling better and talking.”
The ladder was bought, and, when it was placed it in the cage, the parrot did seem pleased. For a while, she climbed excitedly up and down. But, she still did not talk.
Two days later, the woman returned to the pet store and announced, “My parrot died.”
“Oh no!” the shopkeeper cried. “Did she ever talk at all?”
“Yes,” the lady said. “Just before she died, in a weak, raspy voice, she said, “Hey, lady, don’t they have any bird seed at that pet store?”
We often feel that our lives are missing something. In response, some buy all the latest toys and trinkets to try to bring them joy. Some haunt bars and clubs looking for love. Others bounce from relationship to relationship trying to fill an emptiness inside. All the while, it is our spirit that is starving. And a spiritual hunger can never be satisfied by physical things.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).
Our souls will never sing until we are satisfied. If there is something missing in your life – some emptiness that keeps you from singing – fill it with the bread of life.
Nothing else will satisfy, and without it we will die.

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church, Americus.