Breaking news: Sometimes it’s okay to ugly cry.
Southerners seem to do things en masse--like a rocking chair on the porch and a woodcut monogram on the front door. Rather than a ‘D’ on the door, I hung a cute wreath with colored Easter eggs along the bottom third. While studying in my front room, I kept noticing a bird flying around the porch area but couldn’t figure out why. Huh. Well, I kept watching and finally figured out a little wren had built her nest in the top of my Easter wreath. While I thought it was charming, it also meant I had to close off my front door to protect her two little eggs.
Eventually, I carefully picked up the bottom of the wreath and moved it to a nearby porch chair with a plant in it. Can you believe she then laid two more eggs?! I watched through my shuttered windows, speaking kindly to her and telling her what a good little mother she was. One morning, I saw the red-headed daddy feeding her while she brooded. And then last week, I watched as she pecked open the eggs, bringing to life her four funny-looking offspring.
Over the weekend, each started growing a beak - isn’t Creation magical? She was so attentive, but yes, I still had to keep my front door off limits to protect the little family. When I came downstairs this morning, all was well . . . Mama was keeping her chicks warm in their cheery setting.
However, an hour later, as I pivoted to head up the stairs to grab my tennis shoes, a sideways glance worried me -- the wreath was askew. Wait, the nest was empty! I opened the door to find that one little guy had plunged to his death, while the other three had been partially digested and then deposited at the foot of the porch steps--even their beaks.
I burst into tears - but this was no dainty emotional release … within seconds, I was ugly crying. I didn’t care if my neighbors heard me, (yes, heard me); I didn’t care if they saw me. While I knew my reaction was perhaps a bit strong, I did not feel bad about ‘over’ feeling either. Rather uncharacteristic of me, I let myself go - I let myself feel the total impact of the loss of this blessing of Spring, this biology lesson at my window, this sweetest of pleasures from the Creator, as I recalled yet again the words of Scripture: For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1.20. Paul, my hero.
Maybe it wasn’t the birds that got me. Maybe it was my own personal sorrow that the world is not as it should be. The baby birds just brought it out.
On the weekend, I randomly met someone at Big Al’s, a barbecue place near me. I only say ‘random’, because to an outsider, what I am about to tell you may seem random, just an out of the norm occurrence; yes, to someone who does not know me, random … but can I be honest? I do not think too many things happen ‘randomly’.
If a person is walking with God … plus, looking for God to show up in life … things happen. People happen. To others, they seem random; but I gotta tell you - to me, I am open and thinking about what God might be doing. You know something? God’s ways are fascinating, creative and interesting.
I will soon tell you more about Big Al’s, but for now, as I engaged in some great conversation Saturday afternoon, it netted an invitation to an interest meeting in establishing a Celebrate Recovery group. I went. For years, as I teach, I have said ‘we are all recovering from something’ because I believe that is true. For years, I have said I was a recovering Baptist; ha! last night, was wall-to-wall Baptists. See, God is not just creative, he is funny too!
I heard stories from people who both attend and lead because they have HURTS, HANGUPS or HABITS that need healing. The program works the 12 steps, based on powerful biblical truth, inviting Jesus to come heal and restore what could be anxiety, divorce, eating disorders, alcohol, abandonment, abuse and so much more. My takeaway is that "Celebrate Recovery is the church as it should be". So good. I do not know if I will get involved in the leadership of the group, but I was intrigued, and I am asking God.
But then….my first call this morning was from my oldest who was having a seizure while at work. And I’ve been praying all day for a young man I adore who was stabbed over the weekend. I could go on, but maybe it took losing the baby birds this morning to let out the pain that I see all around in the world … sometimes, you just gotta ugly cry.
Sometimes the only way to heal a broken heart is when we fall apart.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. Paul, of course ->2 Corinthians 1.3-4