It happened in Galveston, TX. It concerned a woman and her parakeet named "Chippie." It seems that the woman was cleaning Chippie’s bird cage with the canister vacuum cleaner. She was cleaning the bottom of the cage with no attachment on the tube, when the telephone rang. She turned her head to pick up the phone, continuing to vacuum the cage and as she said "hello" into the phone, she heard the horrible noise of Chippie being sucked into the vacuum. Immediately, she put down the phone, ripped open the vacuum bag, and found Chippie in there, stunned, but still alive.

Since the bird was covered with dust and dirt, she grabbed it, ran it into the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held the bird under the water to clean it off. When she finished that, she saw the hair dryer on the bathroom sink. She turned it on and held the bird in front of the blast of hot air to dry him off.

A few weeks later, a reporter from the newspaper that originally published the story went out to the house to ask the woman, "How’s Chippie doing now?" She said, "Well, Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore. He just sort of sits and stares."

Many of us can identify with Chippie. Life has sucked us up, thrown cold water on us, and blown us away. Somewhere in the trauma, we have lost our song.

The amazing thing about the early Christians is that, despite the difficulties they encountered, they still had their song. Look at Paul and Silas in prison. They had been attacked by a mob, beaten with rods by the magistrates, had their clothes torn off, thrown into prison, and their feet fastened in stocks, but they didn’t just sit there and stare. They were praying and singing hymns to God.

In the words of L.B. Bridgers:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Sweetest name I know
Fills my every longing
Keeps me singing as I go.

Adapted from John Gipson, Little Rock, AR