15 September 2012

this post is about a headless bird...

that's not a euphemism or a metaphor. it's not symbolism or allegory. what you will find below is a picture of a bird without a head. (and be warned: pictures of headless birds are pretty much as awful as you might imagine)

I was sitting at a picnic table while the kiddos played on some playground equipment. while they were swinging on the swings, I heard a thud just a few feet away. initially, I thought it was a rock that some small children who were also at the playground had thrown. as I gazed over in the area the noise came from, though, I realized the sound hadn't come from a rock, but from a bird. I thought that was kind of strange, to be sure, but I kept on doing what I was doing.

and this is the part that gets me.

at the time the bird - I didn't at this point know it had been beheaded - fell, I had been praying. the sum of my prayers was something like: I get that I'm supposed to trust you, God, but nothing is going the way I want or the way we need or the way I think it should. why aren't you doing anything, Lord? how can you let these things happen? and why won't you let other things happen, things for which we've been yearning and praying and dreaming and crying?

and so the other small kids left, the sun began to set, and I told my kids it was time to go. as we left, the daughter exclaimed, "this bird doesn't have a head!" incredulous, I went over to get a closer look. and for some reason, I laughed. actually, I think I gasped and then I told the daughter to move back because I've been raised to believe that dead birds are easily the dirtiest thing on the face of the planet, and if you touch one you'll not only get black death but you'll spread it to the rest of the world with every last wheezing breath you take. but after all that, i did laugh, the sort of quiet chuckle one does when one realizes things mean something more, or something different, or something else, than you thought.

I had this reaction, I think, because I was in that moment reminded of a couple things. I remembered how the bible tells us that not even a bird falls out of the sky without God knowing. seeing that once living, once flying thing, I thought about how I mattered to God, but I also thought about how trusting him sometimes means that I'm going to fall, too, not because I've stopped trusting but because I've decided to trust him no matter what.

I also in my mind's eye thought of God, sitting in heaven, growing tired of my constant grousing, thinking to himself, "that boy has gone on long enough. maybe this'll do the trick." cue headless bird dropping from the sky. and it worked. (for awhile, anyway.)

I know God knows me. I know he sees me. I know I matter more to him than the birds of the air, and just as he knows when one of his birds falls from flight, so too he knows when one of his kids has just about had enough.

tonight, remembering that he remembers, knowing he knows, noticing that he takes notice, is exactly what I need.

the headless bird I could have probably done without. but then that's not my call, is it?


  1. still ... my questions go unanswered as to why this bird was decapitated?

    sadistic gang of urban squirrels performing a rite of passage into the gang.

    1. bird head in, bird head out.

      i think it was another bird. after it fell to the ground, i looked up and saw a slightly larger bird flying around. i don't think i was aware that birds killed other birds, at least not civilized birds like the ones i assumed lived in our area. :)


  2. I get this. I've breathed those very words and cried the same heart's cry. I don't know about you but it's just in my nature, my very core, to want to know the end from the beginning, the hows and whys and whos and wheres. Ugh. This has truly been a season of waiting for us and learning to wait with patience, with grace and with lots of anticipation. Thanks for the reminder that we need to remember He remembers, know that He knows and notice the He notices. :) Blessings, friend. Praying for you guys. X

    1. you know, the funniest thing for me in all of this is that God just doesn't seem to be in a hurry. we are surrounded by deadlines, aren't we? whether it's the due dates of bills, or the "i want to do this or this by the time i'm..." thoughts we sometimes have, it seems like we're always scurrying around, hoping God can and will catch up with us. like mary, i'm always telling God that if he had just been here sooner, things would have turned out different.

      little do we know, it's all (somehow) for his glory, and, i firmly believe (at the moment), for our good.

      thanks so much for stopping by - s.