I have walked through life believing that nothing happens in God's world by accident, and that this life is all about learning spiritual lessons that come in all manner of different ways. That being said, I had the strangest encounter today that has left me a bit puzzled and wondering what meaning this little drama that I am about to share holds. Perhaps in the sharing, the purpose or message will emerge.
Today was a lovely spring day, sunny and mild. In the afternoon, I decided to take a little walk around the block so that I could do a bit of shopping in a little produce store on the next street. Up the street and around the corner, a strange sight caught my eye. Perched atop the roof of a car, parked along the curb, sat a bird. Now, this bird did not appear to be like any bird I had ever seen. It looked like it had just popped out of a dryer, feathers all puffed out and a bit askew, as if maybe it had just been in a scuffle. As I passed by, the bird did not move. I half expected it to keel over, dead, actually. It struck me as kind of bizarre. I just stared at it as I passed, but kept walking, rounded the next corner and headed for my little produce store.
After purchasing stuff for a nice salad, I crossed the street and stopped at a little bakery, where I bought a couple loaves of fresh bread, and headed back home the way I had come. As I rounded the last corner, I noticed my little bird friend walking down the side of the road ahead of me. He was limping a little, was still ruffled, and I noticed a patch, about the size of a quarter, on his back between his wings, that was bare of feathers...a bald spot, if you will. I thought to myself, "Poor little bird! He must be hurt. Why would he be walking, which appears to be such an effort, unless he can't fly. Hmmm...looks like he's been in a cat fight."
I slowed down my pace so that I could watch this bird. He was just walking/limping along with a rather slow, unsteady gait, but moving forward, all the same, along the side of the road next to the row of cars that were parked along the curb. He had managed to get all the way down the street from his car perch around the corner. I was amazed.
About the time I thought to myself, "Gee, I hope he doesn't get hit by a car...", this crazy little critter took a notion to cross the road! When he was two thirds of the way across, along came a silver van that, upon seeing him, tried to dodge the bird, driving over top of him. I was riveted to the concrete sidewalk, as I held my breath in horror, mesmerized by what looked like the poor bird's demise.
In a flash, beneath the rear of the van, between the tires, the bird appeared. The right rear tire came so close to that bird that it looked to me like the tire actually brushed his beak and ran over his little claws, which it fortunately did not do. Then the van was gone, and there stood the bird, who hesitated for but a split second, then kept on plodding toward the curb on the other side of the road. Within a moment or two, I watched this tenacious little creature hop up onto the curb, and continue on his journey to who knows where, hobbling along as if nothing had happened.
I had stepped into the road to watch all of this and stood there stunned, with my mouth open, as my mind just buzzed with all kinds of different thoughts. "Poor dinged-up little bird, can't fly and can barely walk, came so close to getting hit by a car and smooched. But he just keeps on keepin on, puttin one little foot in front of the other. Wonder where he's going. Wonder if he knows..." It was truly a sight to behold.
Then the thought occurred to me that maybe this little bird had a message for me.
Life has been pretty challenging of late, as it periodically is for most of us, and if it had not been for my strong faith in God, and lots of His Grace along the way, I'm sure I would not be here to tell this tale. Lately, due to some health issues and circumstantial changes, neither of which I am fond, I have been feeling pretty beat up and tired; ruffled and battered, just like that raggedy little bird . Sure looked like he had had a rough time of it. He looked plenty battered and tired but that did not deter him. Even the near death experience with the passing van didn't throw him. He didn't hesitate, but for a moment, then just kept plodding onward. God's Strength and Grace sustained him, just as it has always sustained me.
I can trust that the Hand of the Master will continue to sustain me, regardless of whatever bumps and bruises, or silver vans come my way. My job is to trust God and persevere, just like that little bird. Trust God and persevere. Hmm...Now, how's that for an emerging message?
"Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved."