A few days in a row I fixated on the idea of a bluebird landing in my palm. I imagined being able to get close enough before it flew away.
I set out with the plan that if I asked God to let that bird make a nest in my palm, I’d believe even more strongly in a God I can’t see.
I would see faith in a whole new way.
The fencepost is marked by a blue ribbon! Trickery to my vision even today.
If I clutched that resting bird, I’d go back home or sit on the front steps and I’d make a call. “Cousin!” I’d say with a loud happy voice, to my cousin who believes bluebirds mean hope.
“Cousin, you’ll never believe it! I have just held a little bluebird in my hand!” And she’d reply in her southern strong voice with either,
“What???? …Get outta here, no way!!!”
I love the way she always gets excited over my revelations.
Or, she’d say “Oh, Lisa, I can’t believe it, isn’t God so good?”
She might find my behavior odd, that I long to see a bluebird sit still in my hand.
That this crazy idea born of seeing a bird near the fence for me is a metaphor for faith, for sustaining it.
For me to be honest with me. Holding a bird in my hand would just lead to me longing for more. I’d love the way God answered my crazy request; but, what next?
Would I ask God to bring a cardinal indoors to live next to my bed? Would I have no fear of flying and ask to soar on an eagle’s wing?
Outlandish thoughts! Really elaborate tales I write in my intricately woven head.
God made me this way.
Last month I was more focused on the birds than ever. Crows all over the country field and a gathering of blue birds in the yard. Several cardinals seem to time it just right and I am turning my face towards the sky and they unravel themselves from the branches and hover over my walk on the trail. Bright red, soft and luminous blue, even the omenous charcoal black buzzard sitting atop the falling down house.
I noticed them. I thought about how God made them all. Thought about God telling us we mean more to Him than birds, than sparrows.
We are more intricately made. A blessing and a worrisome thing is a mind, a complex and compromised by life on earth brain.
Maybe that’s why I love the birds, love the idea of flying from place to place with my little flock. Being able to simply know my nest will be strong and safe if even for just a season.
Knowing there’s a pattern to life, there is a path for safe transition to Heaven.
Birds stay in that pattern undaunted by earth.
The coldest and most wet winter and I still hear the new bird in the tall pine singing its newly acquired noisy song. It sounds like anguish to me. Who am I to say? It’s most likely excitement.
It is a birdsong of faith.
As I type, the sound of a bouncing off the tall window has occurred. I don’t look up soon enough to see it, to know its color, brown, blue or rich red.
I know it may have been off course or maybe, just maybe it felt my longing and it thought it could come inside. Most likely not land in my hand, only let me truly see up close.
That’s faith that accepts our complexities. It’s faith in the God who made me who makes me unconcerned over writing this post, a crazy essay type story about how a bird not in my hand is leading me to deeper faith.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
Psalms 139:13 ESV
My thoughts are known and they are unique, one of a kind wonderings and at times quite woeful.
I am thankful I am loved completely by a God who knows me so well, who knows me because He knew me.
Who’s watching over and is satisfied by my longings over bluebirds.
Who is satisfied that I am coming into me as a work of His hand. A God who sees me testing Him to give me a bird as a measure of faith and is understanding of my ways and compels me deeper, deeper into His view of me.
God is okay with my oddities.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NLT
None of us are the same.
We don’t see one another’s inward parts. For me to write about birds is a risk; a risk I pray gets others thinking. We can never understand the mind of another. We can only accept that as truth. We all have hidden vulnerabilities. Some of us overcome them. Others show and then regret showing because they’re met by the very different thoughts of another. Some brains have fought back with resilience.
Others still have little corners and crevices that have stored up fear. Some hearts don’t appear to be broken but are quite broken. They are not beyond repair. No, not at all beyond resilience sustained by faith. Some are not healed yet; but, they are closer to believing they will be, closer to the possibility of coming into God’s own. The place of rest.
So, from the perspective of one who ponders birds and skies, let’s all join together, separately and yet wonderfully made and believe together.
Faith makes us well, may we not need earthly evidence to believe it.
I don’t think Jesus would have told us to look at the birds if we couldn’t grow by looking. So look up today. Look for the birds, imagine if you like, being allowed to hold one gently for a minute.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Matthew 6:26 ESV
Heavenly Father, thank you for making us so individually well and reminding us that we are so very fragile. It is you that makes us strong. Help us remember you through a flash of blue against a winter field. Because of mercy, in Jesus name, Amen.