February 17, 2007

A Field Guide to the 'Service' Species

(With references for further study)

SERVICE: servitus

Found in every habitat from mountaintop to sea level, rain forest to desert, country to city and palace to prison. Most have plain, unremarkable plumage, although there are a few showy varieties. Regarding song - some weep others sing, one is known for its strident call but most are silent, secretive fowl.

Field marks: Most prominent features are its practical eye and generous spirit.
Voice: Often silent, though some sing a song of comfort to the weary.
Where found: Widespread. Seen often in city slums, prisons, orphanages, hospitals, roadsides.
(Master Field Guide: Isaiah 50:4 Matthew 25:36,37; Luke 10:34)

Field marks:
Note the efficient hands and thrifty outlook.
Voice: Warbles kindness and faithfulness. Is also known for its chirps of wisdom.
Where found: Breeds anywhere there is need of food, clothing and shelter. Found widely in kitchens and sewing rooms.
(Master Field Guide: Acts 9:36-39; Proverbs 31:10-31)

Field marks: Eye-catching, bright plumage.
Voice: A strident, trumpet-like call.
Where found: Found most commonly in public. Often sighted on streets, in churches and other places where it will be noticed.
(Master Field Guide: Matthew 6:1,2)

Field marks: Always lured by fine clothes, money, the aura of success and influence.
Voice: Only sings in the presence of the rich, famous and powerful – a series of fawning whistles.
Where found: Widespread - especially common in the marketplace, although this variety has also been sighted in church.
(Master Field Guide: James 2:1-9)

Field marks: Easily identified by its outer feathers of partial obedience, its defensive posture and ability to rationalize.
Voice: Sweet notes, followed by a sharp hissing when its ruse is uncovered. It has also been heard to cry plaintively.
Where found: Breeds in a climate of self-will and rebellion.
(Master Field Guide: 1 Samuel 15)

Field marks:
Note the watchful stance and habits of whole-heartedness, reliability and perseverance.
Voice: Silent.
Where found: Observed widely in the marketplace, in churches and homes. It is known not to migrate; individuals stick with duties and commitments.
(Master Field Guide: Mark 13:33-37; Ephesians 6:7; Philippians 2:12,13)

Field marks: Often seen laden with Kingdom seed, planting, watering and harvesting.
Voice: a cry of compassion which, as the season progresses, changes to joyful song.
Where found: Always near soil.
(Master Field Guide: Psalm 126:4,5; John 4:34-37; I Corinthians 3:5-9)

Field marks: Frequently sighted with water - either dispensing it as a cold drink or using it to wash feet.
Voice: Silent
Where found: Breeds and thrives in the presence of the simplest and most basic needs.
(Master Field Guide: Matthew 10:42; John 13:3-17)

Field marks: Most often observed setting a good example, rich in love and good deeds. A common sight with this variety is the imitation it inspires in others.
Voice: Sings an encouraging call with God-honoring praise notes.
Where found: On hilltops and lampstands as well as in flocks where a willing spirit is evident.
(Master Field Guide: Matthew 6:13-16; Titus 2:7,8; Hebrews 10:24,25)

Field marks:
Only one sighting ever reported. Identified by its unusual humility and obedience. Resulted in the shedding of blood and death on a cross.
Voice: An agonizing cry: “It is finished!”
Where found: Breeds in repentant hearts. Effects of this service found in all redeemed mankind to this day. Also known to presently inhabit the Highest Place.
(Master Field Guide: Matthew 20:28; Philippians 2:5-11)

Field marks: Often characterized by miracles, power over dark spirits, supernatural communication and protection.
Voice: Strong clear call, proclaiming the Gospel.
Where found: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, to the ends of the earth.
(Master Field Guide: Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 1:8)

Field marks:
Note the crown of unfading glory. This variety has also been observed to cast this crown before the Almighty.
Voice: A repetitive, awe-inspiring cry: “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Where found: In heaven, before the throne of God.
(Master Field Guide: Matthew 6:4; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 14)

Copyright © Violet Nesdoly - 2003

I wrote this parody in response to a FaithWriters writing prompt some years ago. I believe it was published in their first book of collected writings by members. I have flogged it in a few more places but with no success. It's probably too weird for most. It was fun to write though.


  1. Violet, I love it. It would make a a really different and interesting Bible Study. I especially thought the Yellow-Bellied and Showy Birds were cute!
    Pam M.

  2. This was really neat! I liked all your references and the fact that most of these are quite recognizable...

  3. Maybe it didn't get published because it was too convicting!!


  4. Violet that was incredible. And so true. I'm surprised you haven't been able to publish it in more places. Their loss, our gain. Blessings.


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