They do not even wait until I leave anymore. As soon as I reach the feeder with my old rusty coffee can, they come–perch in tree and bush, hover above my head–and wait. They watch as I fill the transparent tubes, scatter seed on ground for the thrush and occasional rabbit.
Sometimes they sing.
This morning, as I knelt over the can of seed, a song sparrow lighted on the leggy forsythia bush. It was raining but I didn’t care as I stopped what I was doing and gazed up at his prehistoric form. He cocked his head to one side, as if to say, “On with it, lady!”
I smiled and finished the task at hand, barely stepping away before he flitted down onto the fragile sill of the seed trough.
I studied him, fast at work, and remembered my morning reading.
“Are you waiting for me to be revealed?” I mused. A strange, tingly feeling possessed me and it was my turn to wait.
When will this glory come? Mr. Sparrow was oblivious to my plight and if there was some secret knowledge in his heart of when the sons of God will be liberated from their state of decay, he wasn’t sharing.
He was too busy being cute.
Turning away, I savored the simple joy in my heart.
Back inside, I sat at the kitchen table and watched the others come, joining my lone sparrow for feasting. And I pondered the Words.
Sitting there, with rain softly pattering against window and birdsong lifting me, I realized there is nothing I want more. To be shed of burdensome desires, to carry only luminosity…to see with the eye of eternity…
Surly this is glorious.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that I would be so much happier if I did not have this dream in my heart. Suddenly, it felt very easy to let go.
The weight that lifted was tremendous and I wondered why God puts these dreams in our hearts, anyway. I knew it was a foolish thing to ponder. I know the answer. Well, part of it anyway.
The dreams themselves are beautiful. They give me yearning, longing, desire to seek. A metaphor for the Bigger Dream. But when I lose sight of this, when I hold the smaller dream in tightly clutched fists…this is when the yearning turns to sorrow.
Unsilting the two–sorting and sifting–this is the real work.
Why is it so easy to get lost? I ask it with an earnest heart. It is not my desire to put anything before Him.
And He reminds me of the birds. How they wait for me to fill the feeder. Trusting in my hand.
He is asking me to trust Him.
Do I dare? I have before, with mixed results–at least with these temporal eyes. Is my faith so fragile as to crumble with the smaller dream? Do I not still have the Bigger?
Does any of this matter anyway?
I know it does, and yet it doesn’t. Immediately before the verses I have been pondering, Paul says, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
It does, and yet it doesn’t. These heartbreaks, these daily hassles…they matter. But they don’t matter the most.
So I am sifting. My goal is to keep my thoughts focused on the higher things. It doesn’t mean these other things do not matter. They just need not matter as much.
Will you please pray? I thank you most sincerely. I am, after all, a work in progress.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Rom. 8:19-21)
photo by Steve Greaves, from flickr creative commons