Archive for June, 2015

Kindred Spirits

I was at the pet store one afternoon when two middle-aged ladies walked in.  One was there to buy some supplies and the other was along for the ride.  She’d never been around birds before … and there were a lot of them at this store.  In fact, that’s what the store was all about.  The mid-sized and larger birds were all out in the open on perches hung from the ceiling.  I watched her.  People’s reactions vary widely.  Some people are clearly afraid.  I was there one time when someone sidled through the door and stood nervously by the window.  She saw me and said she was trying to get over her fear of birds.  It can be hard when you don’t know what to expect from these feathered creatures, especially those big ones with the big beaks that you are sure could sever your arm at the elbow.  Some people are dragged there by enthusiastic friends and couldn’t care less about birds.  Others come in and gush and fawn over every single “cute little birdie” and I wouldn’t trust them with a bird to save its life or mine.

This lady, however, was showing signs of fitting into a category entirely different. Every so often someone comes in who is interested in something more than the latest rage or a pretty curio or a pet they can teach to swear.  These are the bird people.  She was one of them.  She just didn’t know it yet.

Her eyes were full of wonder.  She was drinking in everything she saw.  It delighted and intrigued her.  Though new to her mind and experience, it was waking up something that wasn’t new at all.  It had been there all along, waiting.  There was a treasure hidden away that needed just the right key to unlock the chest.  She was coming alive.

It was so much fun to watch her explore.  She went to the different perches and asked questions about all of them.  Her mind was eagerly lapping up all the information it could.  Her spirit had known it all along, but her soul had a lot of catching up to do!  Since before her life began she was wired to respond to birds.  Only now had the hunger been realized.

I felt like I had been giving a front row seat to a special ceremony.  A corner of the veil covering her design was lifted, and the Creator gave me the precious opportunity to watch.  I love to see God’s design come alive in someone.  When that shaft of light hits the untouched corner of their soul you can hear the angels sing.  Her eyes came alive with a light that had never shown through them before.  It is at these moments I especially appreciate the quote by St. Irenaeus: “The glory of God is man fully alive.”  You cannot help but worship the Creator.

I can celebrate this beauty in any context, but there is a heightened pleasure when it is in an area that I love too.  My “awakening” happened many years ago with a blue-fronted Amazon named Muffin.  That is when the shaft of light poured into the untouched corner of my soul.  I have been a crazy bird lady ever since.

The staff at the pet store didn’t stand a chance of getting to this lady before I did.  Her eagerness to learn was matched by my eagerness to share.  Our eyes met and I could feel that swift, secret smile and the joy of the spirit in the unspoken words,

“you too?”

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