Thursday, July 24, 2014

what i learned from dead birds...

sweet brown eyes & i have been at the beach for a few days.  a soccer tournament lead to the little getaway.  among the many lives left at home was a nest built beneath our patio cover.  for many years i dreaded seeing the nesting birds gathering supplies from around my yard to build that perfect basket of twigs & pine needles & string to cocoon their eggs while they hatched.  i loathed all of their productivity because i knew when the time was right for those babes to spread their wings & adventure into a life of their own, my bird-loving jack russell lay in wait on the patio anticipating the first flight on unsteady wings & he would do what jack russells do to baby birds.

unfortunately, mr. jack russell passed away this winter and a kinder, gentler spirited pup has replaced him.  his nature is to herd instead of hurt birds.  he does an amazing job of gathering my chickens back into their coop without rifling their feathers.  you can only imagine the excitement i had when birds began their annual nesting ritual.  this summer, we will have babes that will be given that chance to fly off and do whatever birds do.  each time i would walk out the kitchen door i would glance up and turn my ear in anticipation of their tiny voices.  sure enough a few weeks ago i began to hear them.  they were tucked up so close to the top of the patio, i couldn't see how many there were but could determine there were at least two by the sounds of all of the chirping.

i was sure when we returned home from our beach week, it would be to an empty nest.  but it wasn't.  when i glanced up, there was a tiny bird hanging out of the nest…dead.  i wanted to cry, disturbed by the sight of death.  i returned inside, attempting to ignore what i had seen.  but i couldn't just leave it literally hanging there.  along with a ladder & broom, i removed the bird & nest.  there was a second bird inside the nest that obviously didn't make it either.

i am not sure what went awry in that nest.  i want to believe that mom didn't leave her babes to fend for themselves.  i want to believe life, not death.  i want to believe in hope, not despair.  i want to believe gladness, not sorrow.  but the reality is those birds did not make it out of the nest this year.  and i want an explanation.  from God.  why didn't You allow these birds to fly?

but then i remembered.  in john 10 where Jesus is telling the disciples that not a single sparrow falls without being in God's presence.  God knows.  even when a sparrow dies.  even when dementia strikes a family.  He knows.  and He cares.  does he derail the train? sometimes, but not always. and this is one {or two} of those not always.  my nature is to always ask why?  why those birds this year?  why my precious husband and not another's?  but if He told me the answer to "why" it wouldn't change the outcome.  the answer would never satisfy me even from Christ himself because it truly isn't the "why" i want answered.

what my soul truly seeks, for those birds & pjm, is to roll back time & have the ending i would orchestrate.  but the verse says "when a sparrow falls…".  the when explains the why. heartbreaking & arbitrary happen.  at that ugly moment of horrible circumstances begging me to doubt-question-distrust, i chose to place my faith in Him.  knowing he is good, sovereign and present in the middle of dead birds & dementia.

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