New Kid on the Block is the journal of Ryan Schnurr, NeighborLink storytelling intern. He’s blogging his experience during his time with us this summer.
I’ve been thinking about birds lately.
Audrey has 22 birds, a dog, a whole passel of cats and a heart as big as this pet collection. Audrey is a neighbor who will be a part of our Raise the Roof event at the end of July, and I went to visit her this week to hear her story. Beginning when she was very young, Audrey has taken care of animals. She has a deep love for pets that have been the victim of some sort of unfortunate circumstance (her dog is from New Orleans, a refugee from the hurricane), and she takes them in to care for them and work this love out practically. There’s something beautiful about seeing someone do what they are passionate about. The thing that most fulfills a person in this life – whatever that is – evokes a certain spirit about them, and it’s contagious.
A bird in the air is a beautiful thing too; whether it’s a hummingbird with its short, choppy strokes, or a hawk soaring back and forth on the tides of the wind, I can’t help but be moved. They are the poster child (children?) of contentment.
I heard a sermon on Psalm 37 Sunday at Love Church. In verse 4, the psalmist says “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Sometimes people think this means that if I am in Christ, I get what I want and everyone will like me. I was a fan of that idea, but it’s pretty inconsistent with other scriptures, like how Jesus himself had a real rough go of it here on earth, and how he said that in this life we will have trouble. Pastor Wallace pointed out that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, our desires become his desires. So we now want what God wants. This scripture is a promise that once we are in line with Christ, and he puts something on our hearts, he will prepare, and has prepared, everything for us to pursue it.
I read one time that bird bones are mostly either thin or hollow, and are fused together. This allows them to maintain strength and rigidity, but still be lightweight enough to stay airborne.
Now it makes sense. The reason it’s so beautiful to see someone work in their passion is that it’s what they were created to do. God created you for a work, wants to place the desire for that work in you, and then promises that he has prepared a way for you to do it. The kicker is that we have to align ourselves with him first. Birds would be bad at cutting down trees or weaving a web or running a hot dog stand, but they’re pretty good at flying. Just like the birds, we have been created to do something.
Let’s do it.