Nothing says “morning” to me like a cuppa tea, my corner recliner, an open Bible, and birdsong chirped on the other side of the picture window. Fluttering wings under the eaves of my front porch are a joyful way to start the day.
Copperfield takes a great interest in all the goings-on, swishing his tale and jerking his head, making little “ack ack ack” sounds. In rapt attention, he will not miss a single feather wag. The Finch Family is returned for the season and honors our hanging begonia baskets with their frolic.
Looking away from my devotions to join kitty in mesmerized fascination at their frenetic activity, I fight the urge to heap condemnation on my mind, being so easily distracted.
I’ve learned to lean into such delight. Often, I hear the instruction and illumination of the Lord more clearly by simply observing the works of His hands in Creation. Birds are a particular joy to me. They flit about in all abandon, unfazed by their small, frail bodies and small stature. Confidently they set about their business, intent on exploring their world in the purposes of the day. There is food gathering and nesting and frivolity in flight to be accomplished, with a musical soundtrack no man can mimic in its symphonic proportions.
It is a glimpse of the glories of God in the earth! I am ever humbled to look upon it—and learn from it. Often, I wish I were as at rest in my own calling and purpose as they are.
Note to Self:
Look at the birds in the air . . . Matthew 6:26.
In the evening, my husband waters the queue of knock-out roses woven between hostas, verbena, petunias, stepping stones, bird-baths, bird feeders, and bird houses that meander around the front porch and length of our humble cottage rancher.
We always smatter a few hanging baskets into the fray. The two under the porch eaves need to be taken down for watering. So, imagine my delight last evening, when taking a closer look inside one of them, I discovered a treasure gift!
But you know—I had to look for it. I had to move the begonia leaves and carefully work to the base of the plant before I saw the nest with two perfect baby blue speckled eggs—like tiny gleaming glass beads that one strings on a necklace. Having seen Mr. and Mrs. Finch returned earlier that week, I’d observed them flying from basket to window frame to tree and back again. More than once I’d caught a glimpse of Mother with wisps of brown grass in her beak.
The clues were not lost on me. I had my suspicions. But, confirming my suspicions happened when I took the time to look deeper for a truth that is seen only from a bird’s eye view.
A leaping heart within me becomes a moment of spontaneous worship at Creation’s rich glories. Here, veiled secrets to knowing more of the Master, who speaks such things into being, are confirmed. He signs His work with an imprint of His character. Like an identifiable thumbprint pressed into the paint by an artist on canvas, God shows us something of Himself in all that He has made. Looking closely, we understand in metaphorical ways what the Word of God puts in writing.
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Romans 1:20 NLT
I love that verse!
I stare deeply into this little haven of a nest, so perfectly formed by wee beaks, woven within the sheltered place of begonia leaves. I am awed by the splendor of the sublime shrouded in delicacy—so like the Spirit of God residing in the frailty of a human heart.
If I should dare to touch these tiny treasure troves, I would surely destroy their potential. It is not their time. To risk rupturing before the God-ordained moment of birth would destroy all the potential for maturity within their delicate shells.
How much more do we need to minister this grace of God one to another!
We don’t always know where we are in God’s growth chart. How many hearts in this world are regularly shattered in their potential for spiritual growth when inappropriately handled? Faith fractures are caused by so many ills—within the church and society at large. Through ignorance, good intentions, or ill will.
A great responsibility is before me.
I take my photos and bid the precious little ones farewell as Ed returns the basket housing the nest to its hanger. We’ll not disturb them again. Casting out eyes upward, we look about the yard for Mr. & Mrs. Finch. They must be in a fit somewhere thinking, those meddling humans are in the yard again. Blocking random noises in the neighborhood, we listen carefully and discern their calls of alarm in the tree just yards away from the porch.
Thinking it was a safe haven, their little world has been disrupted by our good intentions. Father Finch is aflame, both head and breast in bright red, perched on a branch above his demurely clad mate. Mother Finch is outfitted in sensible brown/gray streaks. We gingerly finish the tending of roses and verbena, hoping the good Mother and Father will return.
The REST of the Story . . .
This morning, their peace is first in my thoughts as I settle into my recliner with a cuppa tea. I look for them, but am discouraged when there is a void of busy flitting about on the other side of the window—as I’d been used to seeing.
Copperfield is discouraged, too. He returns to his cloth mouse for solace and entertainment. I step outside—to take a closer look.
A rustle of leaves and feathers flailing forth make a beeline for the front yard tree. A swaying basket is left in their wake as the Finches rush to safety.
No worries. I had no intention of hurting them—though they don’t know that. Thankfully, they have not abandoned their charges after a close encounter of the human kind last night. I return to my chair and cuppa, confident that the “all clear” chirp will soon sound and Mother will be back on the nest. I ruminate the implications of this little episode and what deeper life principles I can glean from it. Turning to the book of Matthew, it’s time to follow up on the aforementioned, Note To Self:
No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:24-34 NLT
Lord, in this chaotic world my begonia basket seems to get jostled about every time I see a disturbing headline on my social media thread, or read of great suffering and injustice, or experience struggle on any one of the many life fronts that concern me like our health, finances and family. Today though, I am grateful for Your comforting Voice in birdsong and house finches. My cozy little nest that I’ve so carefully woven can be easily threatened. I take flight and perch on tree branches named Fear and Worry and Cares of This World. The joyful song you’ve called me to sing and the business of the call you’ve placed on my life is replaced by shouts of alarm. I’m distracted from fulfilling my purposes in You. Whether we’re finches in fearful flight or helpless chicks tucked in a nest, waiting in the tender darkness of incubation, we are never far from Your power to save, Your nurturing hand, Your grace in time of need. In the egg, in the nest, sheltered by begonia leaves, You are ample provision to bring us to the fulfillment of promise and purpose. Small though I be, I’m living large in Thee. Help me to rest in such a nest. As much concern as I had for that tiny Finch Family, how much more and then some is Your care and concern for those who call you Father God, Lord of my Life. Forgive me when I forget this, and send a bird on wing to remind me that ‘your eye is on the sparrow and you’re watching over me.’
INVITATION TO RUMINATION: As you read through this post, were there other metaphorical spiritual principles that you noted? There are actually quite a few of them if you take a closer look and ponder these things in your heart. Be ye blessed!
On a Personal Note:
Sorry I’ve been missing in Blogland for the past two months. A whole lot of busy going on here with the Fable Springs Book Tour launching in April, keeping me thoroughly distracted with booksignings and speaking events—plus coordinating the annual Founder’s Day event in May, this year a three day monster! Barely time to breathe and recover from all that chaos, a springtime clean-out birthed two back to back weekends of yard sales. BUT—in the midst of it all, my writing priorities have been centered on finishing the Mother Chicken’s Eggs Literature Study and Christian Devotional Guide, designed for homeschool study and family devotions, small group study, women’s ministry study, and individual study.
Just got the first draft back from my editor and I’m taking today to post about my finches—a story I just had to tell—before jumping back into the study guide demands the rest of this week. I’d like to have the next draft to my editor in two weeks before we head up to New England for our annual grand-girl visit. Then, I’m home in July prepping for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference mid-summer. Expect random posts here or there until fall, when I hope to return to a weekly blogging routine.
Seasons! Gotta love ‘em!
Sharing At Rest in the Nest this week with:
Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee
Lyli at Thought Provoking Thursdays at 3D Lessons 4Life
Laura on Faith Filled Friday at Missional Women
Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger
Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays
P.S. Just one week later, we peeked in the nest and surprise! A total of SIX eggs of possibility and potential!!
Do you notice something different about one of those eggs? A bit larger and far more speckles. Hmmmm . . . what can this mean. Sounds like a sequel post to follow up on this thought after some reflection and rumination. Stay tuned!