Do you love birds? My love for backyard songbirds has grown immensely over the last few years.
I love the glorious chorus they raise at daybreak. Many mornings finds me, Bible and coffee cup in hand, on my back deck.
Jon has placed several birdhouses around and the birds inhabit them year round. I said, I guess they signed a lifetime lease. In the fall we clean the houses out, repaint them, and the birds move right back in.
I love to see the birds play in the soft garden dirt, perch high on the shed's peaked roof, stretch long wriggly earth worms from the ground, and soar high to lofty tree tops.
Every morning and evenings, when it's cool enough, I sit outside. The yard is filled with the song and color of my many birds. Cardinals, chickadees, titmice, gold finches, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, mourning doves have all become my friends.
Once when the grand-kids happen to be sitting with me, I referred to the birds as "my birds."
One of the grand-kids responded with, "they're not YOUR birds, Nanny, they're just wild birds."
"Yes, they are MY birds," I answered. "I feed them and house them, I care for them. Each one is special to me. More important, God has filled my backyard with them to bless me. To remind me of God's great handiwork. They fill the yard with beauty and song, they remind me to lift my voice in praise to God as well."
After a little thought on this, the said grandkid agreed that maybe they just might be "Nanny's birds" after all. Ha ha...
Jon and I especially enjoyed the Carolina Wrens(we named them Caroline and Kirk), that built their nest in our hanging Begonia. We missed them so after they shoved their young from the nest and took flight.
About four days ago, I began to notice something unusual, my yard seemed to be eerie. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It soon struck me that....my birds were gone! And I do mean gone! No birds.... Even our permanent "residents" in our bird houses had disappeared. I could never remember this happening before.
I called Jon out to sit with me. It was so strange. This went on for three days. In desperation, I Googled the words,"Where have my backyard birds gone?" I was surprised at what I found. There were comments from others, some who had feed birds as many as 28 years, that had had similar experiences.
The author of the article mentioned several possibilities. Perhaps a predator,such as a hawk, had taken up residence in our back yard. Perhaps, the heat or drought had driven them away. Or maybe, some neighbor had offered them a "finer fare." At any rate, the article assured me, it was ONLY temporary and they WOULD return.
I thought about the "songbirds" of my soul. Have you ever realized suddenly that your heart doesn't seem to be "singing" anymore? It can be a subtle thing, for sure.
Without one's awareness, a "predator" may be lurking to steal one's song. The Enemy often comes as an "angel of shinning light" and is not so easily recognized. He loves to rob us of our joy, of the song in our soul. "My soul be on thou guard against 10,000 foes.."
Sometimes the "heat and drought" takes a toll on our soul's music. The intense pressures of life, that consume all our energy can drag us to a slow, steady crawl. Dryness can smother ones song. The "outward daily perishing" must be renewed by the "inner man." Only from His Word, and through communing with Him, can our thirst be satisfied!
Ah......... and then there's the possibility of "finer fare" elsewhere! I think this might be the most dangerous. Friends, entertainment, food, gadgets....more, more, more!!!!!! What absorbs my love, demands my attention, steals my affection?
Last evening, I couldn't bear to sit on the deck. I guess I hadn't really realized just how much the birds lifted my spirits and blessed my life. They were just so much a part of what I call "MY Cathedral," the spot where I so much love to worship. So this morning, rather than go to the deck, I went to my recliner and picked up my Bible for devotions. After a few moments, something kept nagging at the back of my mind. The sound finally came into focus...IT WAS A BIRD SINGING! "Jon!," I exclaimed,"do you hear that? It's a bird singing." I took my Bible and moved to the deck. Sure enough! There were the black throated sparrows. Soon a cardinal landed briefly in our tree. Then there were the sparrows lined up on the shed peaked roof. After a while, I noticed birds perched on the garden posts, dust bathing in the driveway, and returning to the feeder. Soon Jon came out and sat with me. I guess you can't really imagine what a difference it made. After a little while the sparrows landed by the old newspaper box by the grapevines, they were busily working on a new nest.
I was just about to come in when I heard a familiar song. It was Caroline! Jon and I both sat with widened eyes. Yes, there she was on her "jumping off" spot, the shepherds hook. We sat breathless... She took one big spring off flight and dived into the hanging Begonia! I felt like cheering!!!
If this sounds a little childish, maybe you should consider "taking time to smell the roses." Well, my songbirds are back, and I'm refreshed!
Lord, keep the "songbirds of my soul" singing! Don't let me succumb to "predators," drought and heat, or "finer fare." Keep me aware of Your Presence! May there ever be a "song in my heart."
Singing His song,