Jingles was an amazing blue parakeet. Mom delighted in talking about Jingles. She received him as a gift and was not very pleased with the gift because she didn’t think a bird was something she wanted or needed. The bird was a burden.  Her soft side knew Jingles would rather fly than be pent up in a cage. So, she released Jingles to fly about the house from curtain rod to curtain rod. That was messy.

One day when she was pinning a garment to sew, Jingles flew down and watched her remove pins from a pin cushion and put them into the garment she was creating.  He then hopped over to the pin cushion, pulled out a pin and took it to my mom and dropped it by her hand.  Her heart melted.  Jingles was no longer an annoying mess to tolerate, but a true friend.

Parakeets are not generally known for being very bright and they do not usually mimic human speech like a parrot might.  Jingles, however, was not normal and my mom was extremely patient and persistent.  She taught Jingles to say some amazing things, and she delighted in repeating the things she had trained Jingles to say. Because Jingles had a mirror in his cage, and would look at himself in the mirror, mom taught him to say “Jingles, you’re such pretty, pretty boy!”  You could hear the joy in mom’s voice as she repeated those words many times.  Mom also taught him to say something even more complicated: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Poopsie!”

This tells me more about my mom. Jingles really did not add value in the sewing process. He wasn’t a helper. But mom saw Jingles in a new light, and that changed her response from tolerance to training. I believe her ability to see potential and then invest time in the one with potential, no matter how limited, fueled mom’s care for other people. They might be messy and lack “value” from a productivity or contribution perspective, but they could become valuable with the proper care and training.

Proverbs 31:30 (ESV) “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”