One thing I've always wished I could experience is to have a wild bird eat from my hand. I've always loved chickadees - they are so small and cheerful. I've heard they aren't too difficult to entice, just stand outside until your hands and feet are frozen stiff and hypothermia followed by rigor mortis sets in.
Last week I did it. I stood on the deck of the cabin. Waiting, waiting. Waiting for them to overcome their fear of me. There was a flock of them flitting about because they'd already been careening in and snatching from little piles of black sunflower seeds I'd scattered on the railing. When they were nearly gone, I posted with my hands cupped, those seeds a little siren song seducing them.
I was about to give up when, to my surprise, the nuthatches came! Hopping along the rail, making little chirrups, clutching my fingers with their tiny feet, sorting the seeds,with their needle-nosed beaks, tossing away several before finding the exactly right one. I was enthralled. Finally, a brave chickadee skidded to a stop about six inches away. She arched her head, eye-balled a seed, hopped on my thumb, grabbed it and arced away. I could feel the tiny draft of her wings as she pulled up. They kept coming. I tried not to laugh for the joy of them.
I just heard about a woman with four young children who has Stage IV breast cancer. As we know, "there is no Stage V." Her heart bursts and breaks with love and longing for her children and her spouse. She strives to remain in Christ during her long sleepless nights.
So, I wonder. Why am I blessed with chickadees and nuthatches? There is no short answer to this. It seems that as long as I live I will need to review questions about suffering and persevering. I read C.S. Lewis. Edith Schaeffer. J.I. Packer. Others. And am temporarily satisfied, but is it my memory that has so many holes in it that I must return again and again to be reminded? I think so. And, I also turn Scriptures that assure me that God "prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies." (Ps. 23) And further, "goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life." So, God, please bring comfort to that young woman. Prepare a table for her that sustains her through the valley of death. And thanks for the birds you brought to my hands - they were goodness, a kind of evidence that you have not abandoned us or your creation.
|Handfuls of goodness|