I like birds. Well, I don’t actually like them; I like to watch them…from a safe distance of course. My wonderful husband just built me an amazing patio covering, so it makes sitting outside in the Texas heat during the mornings a little more bearable.
I love to sit outside in the morning, drink a jumbo – sized cup of coffee, read the Bible, and listen to the sounds of the birds chirping and the water trickling in our fountain. The songs of the different birds intrigue me. Label me a nerd if you like, but one morning I was so intrigued that I looked up the songs of all kinds of species of birds so that I would be able to identify them in my backyard. I try to get bird food that will attract my favorite birds (which of course are Blue Jays and Cardinals). I also get special feeders; I want them to have an easy time eating in my backyard so that they will keep coming back.
I say I love birds, but you have to remember; I only love them from a distance. If at any moment a bird got a crazy feather and decided to swoop in and perch on my foot as I’m reclining, reading my Bible and sipping my coffee; I would be totally freaked out.
Something would have to change! Either I’m moving, or the bird is going to die – I don’t want to be that close. It’s gross really. Birds carry diseases. They’re dirty. They look disgusting up close. I don’t want to be close to a bird.
When birds are far away, I can marvel at their beauty. I can listen to their songs and pretend I know what they’re singing about; all the while enjoying my “safe” distance while I “safely” pursue God. Then, this morning, I got this crazy idea. What if the way I love birds is the way the church loves unchurched people. I think it is sometimes.
We say we love them, but do we really? Maybe we study their language and culture. Maybe we find out what their interested in and where they hang out. Maybe we even read lots of books about them…oooooh. Maybe we try to create an environment that will attract them, make them comfortable even…but what happens when they show up? Do we welcome them to sit down with us, do we invite them into the “safety” of our lives; or do we become afraid? Do we become so afraid of the grossness of their sin that we feel the urge to just get away? Or do we look into the heart of the person and see the beautiful masterpiece that God created.
God loves birds; it’s in the Bible, He cares for them. He loves people more. He loves people more. He loves people. He loves.
That’s not a typo. I want to remember that love. And, I want to live that love. And, I want that love to overflow in everything I do.
Lord, don’t let me barricade myself up only in the practice of reading Your Word. Help me live it, please.