Saturday, March 1, 2014
Choose: On bird songs, beginning Lent and waiting to see
Bustling around in our bedroom just after five am, I gather my gym bag and things for work, and I hear them for the first time this winter. Birds in the trees, singing. Their songs hover in the darkness outside the window, each one an ornament of hope hung upon bare tree branches, waiting to catch the glint of the sun.
They sing into the dark and their voices are not overcome.
They sing in the womb of the morning, awaiting the birth of a new day.
They sing, because that is what they were made to do.
I pause in my scurrying around in the dark and my mouth curves upward, a small offering of thanks for this gift. Perhaps, they've been singing all winter, and I simply haven't been paying attention.
. . . . . . . . .
Time barrels along, and having just brought us through the season of Advent, I stand looking only days ahead into the season of Lent. I think back to last Lenten season, and I honestly can't remember much. It was dark and I was broken, that is what I remember. It was similar to what Anne Lamott describes in her latest book on meaning and hope in suffering: "My understanding of incarnation is that we are not served by getting away from the grubbiness of suffering. Sometimes we feel that we are barely pulling ourselves forward through a tight tunnel on badly scraped-up elbows. But we do come out the other side, exhausted and changed."
I remember the co-mingling of ache and relief, death and life, that resurrection morning of Easter. I'd come out the other side, exhausted, and not yet sure that I'd been changed.
On the cusp of this Lenten season, it's not so dark, though there are still the days of pulling forward through a tight tunnel on those raw elbows. I've been pondering, what can I give this next forty days? I still don't know.
But I know I am drawn toward those birds, that something in me knows I, too, was made to sing into the darkness, inside the womb, bathing the world around me in hope and beauty.
And I know this, too, preparing to enter this beautiful, somber season: Lent is about seeing myself smaller and seeing Jesus more clearly. I know I don't often pay enough attention, in my scurrying about in the darkness, and I miss the songs. I miss seeing Jesus.
. . . . . . . . .
On select days when my sight is crisp and clear, I catch sight of God in the customer that appears to be stiff or demanding or a grouch, but with a little attention and gentle prompting, lets slip a moment of human vulnerability. I catch sight of God in the imperfections of my spouse, with flecks of future glory seeping through cracks. In the eleven-day boy cradled in the crook of his daddy's arm, wrinkled and sleeping and beautiful. In the cushion of cotton candy pink and orange between mountain crags and charcoal clouds in the early winter morning.
But most of the time, the sightings of God are like glimpses in a broken mirror, shards of real in a distorted vision field. I see Jesus cloaked in people and experiences of the past, in my unconscious projections of these upon him. I long to strip those away, until I only see him, as he is.
And maybe that is the hope I bring into this Lenten season. There will be no full seeing on this side of eternity, but less dimly? Less distorted? Like the birds in the trees awaiting the morning light, one can only hope and sing for this.
Yes, maybe this Lenten season I will choose to join the birds and daily waken the dawn and my eyes with songs of prayer, and wait to see Jesus.
Joining Lisa Jo to the prompt of "Choose." In case you're tempted to be in awe of the amount of words I churned out in this FMF post, this was NOT written in five minutes.
Joining Holley, too, for the first time, for Coffee for Your Heart. The prompt is "Who inspires you," and my answer, today, is more a "what" - bird songs and sightings of Jesus.