Imitators of Christ
October 14, 2019 at 6:00 AM
The Palawan Talking Mynah has a unique ability to mimic sounds, pitches and words it hears in nature.
Imitators of Christ
By Dan Breen
I’ve always had a fascination with talking birds. Not the kind that whistle pretty songs to you at breakfast, but that ones that can actually mimic the words you say.
It probably dates back to my youth when my great-uncle owned a talking bird and my siblings and I would spend most of the time during our visits trying to get the bird to imitate the words and phrases we would say.
Earlier this fall, Luke Society Executive Director Dr. Wrede Vogel and I were preparing to return from the Philippines after visiting Rev. Ben and Dr. Susie Cayaon’s ministry on the island of Palawan when Ben decided to stop at one of the island’s nature preserves. An exhibit there features the Palawan Talking Mynah.
The bird is well-known on the island for its ability to reproduce a wide spectrum of sounds, whistles and tones. It’s on the endangered species list, and poachers have regularly attempted to smuggle the bird off the island.
For several minutes, Ben and I carried on an open dialog amongst the seven black mynahs. It was amazing to hear the clarity with which they could repeat the words we spoke to them. Ben even coaxed one of them to call me a fool in Filipino.
The Bible has no shortage of verses that talk about being imitators. Most of them are found in the New Testament. Why? Because we’re called to be imitators of Christ — in his love (Eph. 5:1), his suffering (1 Pet. 2:21), his humility (John 13:15), his kindness (Eph. 4:32) and his forgiveness (Col. 3:13).
Unlike the mynah, our call to be imitators of Christ is more than just lip-service. If we’re serious about being Christ-followers, all of our lives must mirror Him. It can’t only be the things we say. It must be backed up by the integrity of our actions.
The Luke Society is filled with people committed to taking up that call to be imitators of Christ. From directors to partnership ministry teams, board members to donors, we all have an opportunity to show Christ to the world around us. May we relish in the joy of what it means to truly imitate Jesus Christ.