I pulled into my neighborhood and turned my head to the right. At first I thought that a dark cloud was covering the sky. Then the dark mass moved in response to my presence. Like a wave, it rose up and then crashed back on the ground. I rolled down my window and the noise flew through my window. This living mass of feathers would suddenly leap into the air like a blob in a lava lamp. It undulated fell apart then then reformed.

I turned away from my house and toward the birds. I thought of Alfred Hitchcock as I rolled up my windows. I crept my car forward but they were having none of it. The street cleared and the trees filled into my car slipped past them and the cloud returned. I looked down at the the road and the lawn, but could not discover what the fuss was all about.

I have heard the squawking all week. I have heard people talking about the herd mentality. There does seem to be tendency in our world for noise and crowds and chaos to all go together. The airwaves seem to be filled with division. Groups rise up, fly around and make a bunch of noise, but frequently end up right back in the same position.

I was so proud of our community this last week, because some brave souls turned the noise into forward progress. I love that some people tried to raise a contentious conversation to a level of civility and honor. I love that some our our political representatives listened to people and responded. It is rare for anyone to push pause. Our school board did a courageous thing this week. People complain and gnash their teeth about Washington and Austin, that those place don’t listen to the real people. It was awestruck by the leadership expressed by our schools this week. I believe that we will come out of this strong and better.

We should all commit ourselves to not following the crowd, but leading the flock. We should commit our selves to the way of peace. We should honor those who listened and responded. I have heard some chest bumping, some people declaring winners and losers. I have heard condemnation and aspersion. I pray that we could inject peace instead. I pray that we could offer understanding instead. I pray that we can lift up grace instead. There were not winners and looser, just us, just our flock and we all get there together or not at all.