Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Little Bird

"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 

This verse is one I know by heart. I love to sing the song, "His eye is on the sparrow", and, as a born worry wort, I repeat this verse frequently to myself as a reminder that I'm not supposed to worry, God has it all under control. And yet I’ve never been comfortable with the fact that the little bird doesn't seem to be doing any work. I usually find myself asking what happened to the verse, "God helps those who help themselves?” Especially in this area of the country, we are used to working hard to invest our gifts, receive a profit, or fulfill our responsibilities. Those who don’t worry about tomorrow and just live for today are seen as reckless or irresponsible. Doesn’t God want us to be prepared? Doesn’t God want us to be good stewards of the blessings that we have received? Aren’t we called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? “Exactly,” I hear Jesus saying back to me. “The little bird does keep busy, but she rejoices and enjoys each leap, each dive, each climb. Sometimes she heads out seeking after the gifts of God, other times she sets at work looking for what God is calling her to build, daily she listens for whom God is calling her to care for and daily she sings praises of thanksgiving.” As we see the trials ahead of us, as we find ourselves in difficult situations, Jesus says to us, “Don’t get lost in your work. Look for my work, join in, and you will discover treasures you had never imagined."

If you look close enough at my singing bird on the branch, she only has one leg. I drew this bird during preparation and reflection for a memorial service for one of our dear members, Bernie. She lost her leg to cancer, as a young, busy, strong willed wife and mother of two boys. Her sons said she never let them help with dinner or the dishes, because she didn't need any help. I could choose to define her by all of the struggles that she overcame in life, but I will always remember her as one of the most sincerely happy people I have known in my entire life. When I sing with our choir, I stand next to her pole which was mounted to the ground to help steady her later in life. She had a beautiful voice and was known as one of the funeral "sisters" who were frequently requested to honor their friends and community members at their services. Even more dazzling than her pure voice, was her gorgeous smile. Such a lovely, gracious and joyful bird, may we all find such joy with Jesus in our hearts.

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