About five years ago I discovered I had breast cancer; it was the second time I had the disease and it was quite a frightening period, especially as I wasn’t with Christ. I became a Christian after treatment but when I was still feeling very tired and life really had no meaning to it. I had to give up work as physically I couldn’t manage and was really resentful.
When I first came to Christ I wanted to read the bible and being an English graduate started at the beginning. I read Genesis 1:1-31 and learned how God created the heavens and the earth and all who live on it.
He created it within six days from nothing a vastness, formless dark area. He created all the seas and land, all the animals, including fish and the birds and gave light making the day; he then introduced morning and evening.
I was astounded as I meditated on this. I was totally distracted from my own angst and in awe of a masterful, powerful, creative God.
I wanted to look a little closer to the masterpiece that he had created and decided to focus on the winged animals (the birds) first as they were easily accessible.
I marvelled about the complexity of their wings, about the effortless way that they fly, how the feathers that are so dainty are yet so powerful. I saw how the different birds have different beaks, that are tough enough to crack the hardest of nuts. The strong talons that can carry a small animal to their death.
I like the way that they chatter; in the morning and in the evening and realised that they was moving along with God’s timing; although they had no clock; they quite simply just follow the light.
Whilst I had the time off work I decided to study the birds outside my window. I would watch as they took turns to search for food on my garden. They would come and go in species, the crows first, then the pigeons, then magpies and when they left the smaller birds would forage, the blackbirds, the sparrows, the blue tits and the coal tits. They would search for food and during Spring would search for feathers and twigs to make their nests. I would watch as they built their nests in the trees, privets and even in the eaves and side of our house. I found a nest in our privet which had a couple of blackbird eggs.
I watched as Mr and Mrs Blackbird worked tirelessly fetching food for their young. They switched time after time making sure one was left in the nest to look after the young. I saw the blackbirds become a tag team when the magpies would come close to the nest; they would fight them off; trying their best to distract them. One day I walked in the garden and found a dead chick on the grass, he looked like he had fallen and died from that as he was intact; I felt deeply saddened as I envisaged how the parents would be feeling but my sadness was short lived as Mr and Mrs blackbird carried on regardless, feeding the other chick.
The chick flourished and finally left the nest; happy, nurtured and independent. He has also nested on the privet with his own chicks. I realised then that life goes on; we need to carry on through our suffering and focus on our walk; like the birds we simply need to keep following the light…..