Consider the birds...

Often the windows on each landing in our stairwell are opened so that we get some fresh air.  Today, as I walked out to head to the office, I saw a bird frantically throwing itself against the glass; it had flown in, gotten disoriented, and wasn't able to figure out how to get back out through the narrow strip of open window.

Trying not to freak it out any more, I reached over and slid one of the glass panels to give it a wider gap to escape through, but to no avail.  The bird continued to beat against the glass.

My own heart felt like it was racing in sympathy.  Another teacher came through the stairwell as I stepped closer, boxing the bird in, and put my hands around it.  I was near tears and afraid that I'd hurt it; it was so small, so fragile, so frightened.  But I caught it and held it out into the air.

It stilled in my hands for moment, and then flew away.

(I think it was a red-breasted flycatcher; I found this picture on pinterest.)

I am grateful for knowing that when I am at my most frantic, beating against what I cannot move and desperate to get out, there's One who loves me enough to box me in and gently grab me, leaving me feeling more trapped than ever, so that He can move me into freedom.

(photo by Ludovic François)

I don't know why birds in distress make my heart ache so much, I said to my mom.  I remember being utterly distraught as a kid over dead birds.  I grew up in western Pennsylvania, so roadkill was hardly a new concept.  And yet.  Dead birds just seemed wrong.  A hummingbird stuck in my stairwell in Bloomington prompted me and a few neighbors to action, research, teamwork.

She reminded me of what Cornelius Plantinga refers to as the webbing together of all creation.  Of course my heart should ache.  It is wrong.  And it is part of my identity as a human to set it right.

In Andrew Peterson's words that are currently playing from my computer,
The world was good
The world is fallen
The world will be redeemed.

(photo by Jon Eric Marababol)


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