Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Blue Bird Houses and the Beauty of Diversity" by Tony

One of the most important things I do every year is put up houses in which beautiful mountain bluebirds nest. These are amazing creatures, no artist could ever come close to the incredible shade of blue of their wings. And when I see that a pair has nested in one of our houses, I am excited because I know that those eggs will hatch eventually and more of those glorious creatures will fly out into the world. And I know that we have been a part of making that happen and the world is a better place and a more beautiful place because they are there.
As I thought about this, it struck me that our meeting is a bluebird house of sorts as well, that people come in looking for a safe space to nest, to grow spiritually and move toward becoming who God wants them to be. Some remain with us for a long time, some sojourn for a spell and move on, but hopefully the results are the same -the world is a better and more beautiful place because the light of God’s love is shining out through them.

As I was sitting on my deck feeling very poetic and sort of other wordly about this, a bird flew overhead and plop -right on the deck rail a big old mess of bird droppings - yep, that happens too. It’s one of the prices you pay for having birds around, along with all the sunflower hulls and thistle and chaff that gets left all around the feeders. Birds make a mess and sometimes the beauty can lost as least for a while in the clean up process. But that’s not unique to birds either. We don’t get perfect people in our fellowship. We get the bruised, the broken, the walking wounded who more than anything else need to know that they are loved unconditionally by the One who made them. They come with a lot of baggage to unload, past hurts and problems that have to be opened gently to let the healing in. It’s a messy process and sometimes there’s a lot of chaff and droppings to be cleaned up with people as well and we can lose sight of the new creature that’s emerging. It’s a dirty job sometimes, but isn’t that what ministry really is?

When I shared these thoughts with our fellowship, one individual quickly said, “what if you get goldfinches in your bluebird house or cardinals? Do you chase them out to make room for the bluebirds, or do you let them stay?” The answer is we let them stay. As beautiful as the bluebirds are, their color is made more vivid by seeing birds of red and yellow and brown and black and white in the yard with them. I am blessed to live in a place that attracts such a variety of birds and celebrate whatever inhabitants God provides for our bird houses, both the physical and spiritual ones.

No comments: