Women writers that I admire often tell stories of how God speaks to them through birds. One regularly finds beautiful bluebird feathers when she is on prayer-walks. She calls them her little kisses from God. Another discovers nests filled with robin eggs and takes them as a sign that God is birthing something in her. I just read a story by a young woman who receives daily visits from wrensâ€”and they remind her of grace.
Iâ€™ve never had a particularly close relationship with nature. Iâ€™d hit an amusement park before camping any day of the week. But, I started wondering if these women were on to something. So, I began to pray for a â€œbird-sighting”â€”some little gift to remind me of God’s beauty and love.
For a few weeks I kept my eyes open for a parrot or a flamingoâ€”anything out of the ordinary.
A couple of days ago I looked on my back porch and saw it â€”the fattest, ugliest, plainest bird I have ever seen in my life…at first I thought it was dead.
Seriously, God, this is the bird you bring me? This is what you think of me?
By dinnertime the fat-ugly-dead-bird had disappeared. My husband and oldest son took bets on whether a hawk or our neighborhood raccoon had eaten it.
The next day, as I was trying to get pb&j’s on the table, Kevin said, â€œHey Aubs, I think there is a dove out there.â€
I ran to the windowâ€”Yes! Now that’s what I am talking about, God!
I just knew I was going to look outside and see MY birdâ€”a white dove, maybe with an olive branch in his mouth and a rainbow behind him. But, it wasnâ€™t a white-winged dove.
It was my fat-ugly-dead-bird again.
Only it wasnâ€™t dead. It had puffed itself up like a running back and was fighting against the wind to stand its ground in the only sunny spot on our back porch.
And it wasnâ€™t fat. It was pregnant.
And it wasnâ€™t a plain ugly thing. I googled birds and there she wasâ€”a scaled dove.
Did God bring me a fat-ugly-dead-bird? Yes. Then, He opened my eyes to see this living, resilient, female, life-bearing, bird of peace. Beauty from ashes on my own back porch.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “God has made all things beautiful in its time.”
Hourly, minutely, nano-secondly, God creates resurrection from death.
Today, my bird was back. Eli saw it and said, â€œMom, thereâ€™s that fat-ugly-dead-bird again.â€
“Thatâ€™s not a fat-ugly-dead-bird, bud. Thatâ€™s my
fat-ugly-dead-bird. Thatâ€™s my gift from God.”
I’d love to read your “bird-sightings.” Add them to comments below!