Wednesday, July 6, 2011

one for the birds

i have my mother to thank for my love of birds. her backyard is pretty much a bird sanctuary, what with her dozens of feeders, bird houses and wide variety of trees for them to nest in. she's got the book and binoculars and many summer mornings you can find her sitting on the patio trying to find her favorite ones. it's no surprise that when i moved into my house last year i wanted to be able to observe birds, too. but hello... i live in the city. in a townhouse. i don't have a sprawling backyard. or really any backyard for that matter. there is a row of bush-like tree things behind my house though and throughout last summer i realized that a lot of little birdies called them home. so i went out and bought a feeder that stuck to my dining room window so i could watch them eat. and eat they did. i loved watching them in the morning while i had my coffee and got used to the noise of their wings hitting the window, signaling that someone was trying to eat. i learned to be stealth so as not to scare them away. so imagine my disappointment when i hung the feeder this year and it crashed to the ground, the plastic shattering into a dozen pieces. my house is built into a hill so the dining room window is actually 2nd story and not ground level. i was bummed. and so the search for a new feeder began.

the search actually proved to be really difficult. finding a feeder that could hang on a window and didn't cost an arm and a leg was frustrating. one sunday though i ended up at lunch with my parents and they needed to run into the local hardware store. and there it was. the perfect feeder. my dad was kind enough to buy it for me once i explained how much i wanted to be able to watch the birds just like mom. she's converted him into a bird lover, too. i was so excited to put it up once i got home. i filled it with seed, stuck those suction cups good and tight to the window and waited. and i waited and i waited and i waited. i thought for sure those birds would show up any second to devour that precious seed. but they didn't. and it stayed that way for days and then weeks. every day i'd look at the feeder and notice that the level of food stayed the same. i couldn't figure out why they hadn't found it yet. one of the bushes behind my house fruits some berries so i thought maybe they were feeding off that. and then yesterday it happened. i heard the sound of wings hitting the window. i ran over and opened the blinds, which obviously scared him away, but i knew he'd be back. and he was. along with a friend. i grabbed my camera and slowly neared the window hoping to capture this momentous occasion.
as you can see from the photos, i did. and in the last 24 hours those birds have been going at it. the feeder is almost empty already. i don't how they can stuff any more seed in those tiny little birdie bellies, but they're doing it. in fact, i think they're becoming a bit greedy. this morning i've been watching them literally peck one another to keep them from getting the food. i realize this is nature and the cycle of life and all that jazz but i found myself getting angry about it. i wanted to yell at the bully birds who weren't letting the smaller ones get any food. i even contemplated taking away the whole feeder to teach them all a lesson. now, that almost makes me sound crazy. and it got me thinking...

is this how God feels sometimes? watching us fighting each other and pushing other people down so we can get ahead? taking more than we need while people around us go without? and how easily God could just take everything away from all of us to "teach us a lesson," but yet he doesn't. instead i think he is longing for us to just get it. to see that life isn't about gaining more and more for ourselves but that its in the act of giving away that we truly gain. i think He desires for us to really understand what it means to live content with what we have... to share when we have abundance... to come alongside each other and build one another up. and oh i have so far to go on this journey but God is convicting me of this more and more each day. i don't know exactly what it looks like but i think the change has to happen in the heart first so that it can then overflow from there.

so that's my prayer today. start with me lord. make me content in all things. remove my desire for more "things" that bring no lasting satisfaction. i don't want to be tied down to my possessions. i don't want to hoard what i have. God, forgive me for my selfish ways and for not always responding when you tell me to give. change my heart God. show me how to be more like you. less of me God and more of you.

in His love and grace,


 

7 comments:

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

I love your love for the birds like mom--and I love that Eme loves them too :) The hoarding thing got me. I think I'm gonna go clean out my closet.

XxMommaWannaBxX said...

This post was for me!! Thank you for writing it. Start with me Father, and change my heart. Thank you again!!!

Gina said...

This is beautiful. Thanks for the reminder.

Tatiana said...

Why are you so deep and beautiful! Love this! It's a great reminder for my own life. I tend to want way more than I need, but God knows how much is just right. I pray that I can accept his ways into my life.

Hailey said...

I really didn't see the lesson at the end coming when I started. Absolutely beautiful. I have a bag of stuff waiting to go to Goodwill that I keep procrastinating on. Thanks for the extra push. :)

Love the birdie shots! Just be careful of Mockingbirds. Those suckers are mean!

Ruth Witmer said...

Sue,
Thanks for the reminder again of the messages that God sends our way if we will just slow down enough to see them. Help me too Lord! Mom

Kristen said...

Susan- your blogs so often challenge me and convict my heart. thank you for being so faithful in sharing the journey. xoxo