Sucked In, Washed Away & Blown Over


“Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.

The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said “hello” when “ssssopp!” Chippie got sucked in.

The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie — still alive, but stunned. Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.

Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. “Well,” she replied, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore — he just sits and stares.” It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.”

This is one of my favorite stories told by Max Lucado in his book “In the Eye of the Storm.”

There are times we all feel like Chippie. Life has a way of sucking us in, washing us away and blowing us over. One moment we’re doing fine the next life is having its way with us and there isn’t much we can do about it.

Trials and suffering happen. Many times we don’t understand why and the answers we desire wouldn’t stop the chaos and pain.

Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore, he just sits and stares.”

The path of life leads us through dark valleys, over rocky and steep mountains. We can, like Chippie, be made numb by our experiences. The difficult parts of the path can steal the joy of the journey.


Mindfully, we learn to hold things with open hand, understanding life is always in transition, in constant flux. What is today, might not be tomorrow and what is normal evolves with our experience. To accept without judgment, to let go of our ideas of how things should be, and allow the path to unfold without expectation is to discover grace and peace in an unpredictable world.



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About is a place for sojourners walking this spiritual path called life. - Essentialist, contemplative, author, advocate, old soul

Posted on November 10, 2013, in Mindfulness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Great story thanks for sharing.


  2. Loved this post – poor bird! The last sentence is a description of true freedom. Our egos have such a desperate need for control…
    “Letting go of how we wish things were or believe them to be, in favour of becoming aware of how things really are, is an imperative step towards personal freedom.” Shannon Duncan


  3. Really enjoyed reading this 🙂


  4. What a beautiful post…and an apt reminder. Thank you. 🙂


  5. Loved your post and sense of humor. Reminds me to stay in the moment and get ready for my next ride!


  6. Just call me “Chippie.” S’posed to make me more like Jesus, right?
    Bring it!
    (Then let me rest a day…then bring it again!)


  7. How did you know? I was having a day just like Chippie, in fact a few of them in a row… but there are changes in the wind. Thank you for reminding me.


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