Archive for June, 2019

I had a severe test of my character the other day.  I was on a ministry call, and I often wander around the house when I am on the phone.  There is, apparently, a direct connection between the movement of my feet and the firing of synapses in my noggin.  Well, I happened to stop for a few seconds near the front window and I saw two Red Bellied Woodpeckers scurrying around the Maple tree.  Two!  I had never seen one, let alone two at once.  Better still, one of them was feeding the other.  Most. Endearing. Thing. Ever.  I mean, how much better does it get than peeling a bug off the bark for your sweetie?

My character held, barely.  I didn’t interrupt the person or shout and carry on or hang up abruptly.  It’s dangerous to look out front windows when one is on a ministry call.  I didn’t hang up on them, but don’t ask me to tell you what either of us was saying at that moment.

Thus far, my story has been about parrots, which are and always will be a special love.  But soon after my introduction to Sapphire, I discovered that parrots were the doorway into a whole new realm.  It was the method by which God gave me the sweet “first kiss” that would turn into a lifelong love affair with birds.  Many people wouldn’t have even noticed the two Woodpeckers, let alone nearly choke with excitement.

Sapphire has a way of teaching you how God made you to thrive.  It does this by first disassembling you into a million pieces, so that you have no idea which part goes where, and then somehow, God, your spirit, and a few choice principles mix with some hard work and you are put back together in a way that is barely recognizable, but so RIGHT.

And that’s when I discovered that I was made for a whole lot more than parrots.  It was birds of all kinds.  It was not just my soul that thought they were neat or pretty or cute.  Some of them impact my spirit so deeply that I get chills or my knees go wobbly.  Someday I will see an Albatross face to face and when I do, I doubt I will be able to stand.  One time I asked the Lord what He loves about me.  When, in the course of life, I need to remember the sweetness of our relationship, I think of this answer: “I love you because you love My birds.”

I also learned that this facet of my design meant something.  It had a purpose.  I never saw it as such with Muffin or Charlie.  Then, it was a hobby.  Aside from the indignation I felt about Charlie’s mistreatment, it was purely a matter of self-satisfaction.  What higher purpose would there be?  The thought never occurred to me.

And that is one of the tragedies of our culture.  Purpose is defined primarily in terms of money.  The rest of it is labeled as hobbies, fads, quirks, or idiosyncrasies.  Clearly inferior.  But that’s not how God sees it.  When we have found a piece of design, something intrinsic, something at our core, it is there for a reason, regardless of how superfluous the culture may view it.

So began a major reframing of my worldview – did I mention being taken apart and put back together again?  I began to look at the spiritual sensitivities of birds, the “how” and “why” of my interactions with them, and the role they played in the spiritual ecosystem.  And in the back of my mind, a wondering and a wishing about parrots grew … again … but this time a particular kind of parrot.

An African Grey.


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