A More Noble Love Story

15 Feb

A story is told of a forest ranger who makes a remarkable discovery in the aftermath of a devastating forest fire.  There, among the ashes, he finds the charred remains of a bird at the base of a tree, with her wings outstretched.

Knocking over the remains of the bird, the ranger makes an even more amazing discovery: three live babies.  The mother had apparently gathered her chicks beneath her wings and stood her post… even until the fire overtook her.  She sacrificed herself so that her babies might live.

This story is powerful… it’s noble… it’s compelling.

But is it true?

A Noble Story

I don’t know about you, but this story literally grabs my heart.  To think that a creature, who could have easily escaped by just flying away, gave her life that her babies might live is absolutely captivating.

It shows great love and sacrifice.  It gives us something to emulate.  It moves me beyond words.

There’s just one problem.  This story isn’t true.


Now, here’s where I get intensely practical for a moment.  According to the internet buzz, this story was reported in National Geographic a couple of decades ago.  So, whenever I hear potential urban legends or rumors, I check them out at  It’s a website devoted to fact-finding (and preventing the spread of false rumors).

This particular story can be checked out HERE, but you can search for the title of any questionable email or online post.  In checking out this story, Snopes made contact with National Geographic.  Notice what National Geographic said:

“It’s an inspirational story – which is why we regret that we have to debunk it.”

Just like National Geographic, I desperately want this story to be true.  It’s “too good to be true.”

Or is it?

A More Noble Story

In prayer time Thursday morning, we were working through Psalm 36 when I read these words:

“How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 36:7 NLT)

The Psalmist could not have known how true these words would be years later in the form of Jesus Christ.  In Christ, we see our protector and savior, spreading his wings in the face of impending danger to save his children from certain doom.

His wings were outstretched to their fullest… and were nailed to a cross.  He could have “flown away” at any time and saved himself, but he chose not to.  His great love held him in place until he perished.

But it was the Romans, and many in history since, that made an even more startling discovery after knocking down the remains of this protector.

Children… still alive, rising from beneath his wings.

The power of sin which threatens to burn and destroy everything in its path consumes everyone… except those found in the shelter of His wings.  And here’s the part I love the most… this same shelter is available to all of humanity (look again at Psalm 36).  Such is the love of our Savior.

This story is powerful… it’s noble… it’s compelling.

And it’s true!


Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Group Discussion


2 responses to “A More Noble Love Story

  1. Patricia Walsh

    February 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    I love that post. So so very true! Thanks Bill.

    • billhogan77

      February 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement Patricia! I was bummed to find out the bird story wasn’t true… but the most important story is! 🙂

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