And the Birds Sang…
I’ve been in Washington D.C. for well over a month now (for work) and today is Easter morning. Part me is sad I didn’t venture out and find a community of people with which to celebrate. Instead, I’m at my favorite little breakfast cafe, drinking an Americano and overlooking the quaint streets of Old Town Alexandria thinking a lot about this past month and where I find myself today. Being away from Jared, family, and friends has understandably left me feeling a bit hollow. I depend on those relationships. They are much more “home” to me than the physical place in which I rest my head. And in their absence, nagging whispers I once thought gone, begin to creep back in. Sometimes, I’ve caught myself staring back at the woman I see in the mirror and wonder, “how did I get here already?” I see my flaws, the lines that are beginning to settle around my eyes and wonder if my insides are starting to bleed to the outside. Unsettled, you’d think I would turn more to Jesus. But I haven’t. Because deep down, I am a daughter of Eve. A soul so aware of my own nakedness that I to try to hide it from God, than believe He calls me out to Himself because of it.
So, no. I haven’t really sought You at all these past six weeks, choosing to distract myself with useless things, and even choosing to burrow deeper and deeper into a sense of self-pity hiding somewhere among the shadows of resentment and loneliness. I don’t know why it comes upon me like this. So often, my soul feels full and quiet, marveling in thankfulness for everything You’ve given me. But lately, I’ve once again convinced myself it feels better to lick my wounds than to give them over to You. That I can somehow handle this in my own way. But that way is never better. And before I know it, I’ve dug my way back in with the lingering throbbing of claw marks etched on the walls of my heart.
I’m sorry Jesus. For taking You as some flippant presence that is dependent on my mood, my predetermined expectations, my own version of how I want my story to go. Sometimes, I CHOOSE loneliness. I CHOOSE wallowing as a means of self-protection. But this isn’t what it’s supposed to be.
Do you know how I know this?
Because I hear it calling out to me like the chirps and songs of the birds perched in branches that are just now beginning to show life around this neighborhood. I left a very early spring in Portland to come to a very long, and harsh winter in Washington D.C. One with a biting wind that stings my cheeks and a coldness that inhabits the deepest parts of your bones. For me, it’s been a lonely one too. Waiting and waiting for it to be over, but instead it clings to people like the last frost of the season, set on trying to ruin the life we’ve been anticipating.
Oh, but this morning. This glorious morning. It was so still, so quiet. I walked the cobbled streets before most people were awake. The sky was the most perfect color of hazy blue, almost like the color of faded lavender with wisps of clouds still golden around the edges from the sunrise. And those birds. Hopping from branch to branch, singing perfect little songs regardless if anyone bothered to listen. It was like they were announcing that winter was over. That LIFE was occurring at that very moment, even if it was happening on a scale so small I couldn’t see it. Their song was simple, but so hopeful.
I wonder, over two thousands years ago did the birds sing that morning too? Could they sense the world had forever changed? That the Life my life depends on, took a long, deep breath after the long, desolate winter of Good Friday? Did the birds sing even as the disciples cried, doubted, and panicked?
It’s so easy to wallow in the winters or in the Fridays of life. To think, “this is it.” Souls made tired by dashed hopes and long nights. But morning always comes. And spring always comes. It might not be overnight but one day you are out walking quiet streets and the birds remind you to stop and notice those delicate little blossoms of color, so transparent in their fragility, you can almost see the veins giving life to a tree that until a few days ago, resembled something closer to death. Petal by petal, they unfurl themselves as a sign of wonder, beauty, and proof of LIFE. The birds know this.
It’s almost as if they are signing a song of resurrection.
And because they sing, I can sing too.