Tummy full, I flap my wings and soar down into the valley, where the rest of my flock sits chattering in a grove of olive trees. Some humans have gathered nearby. We keep well away from them, for they are leaders in the land and their taste for bird flesh makes them a danger to us.
A man walks up the hillside a little way and sits down. There is something familiar in his eyes and, when he starts to speak, The Presence vibrates in his words and demeanor. I flap my wings with excitement and trill a sweet melody of greeting. My friends in the trees and hills all around respond in kind.
|The mountains and the hills will burst into song,|
and the trees of the field will clap their hands! ~ Isaiah 55:12
I watch the humans. Will they sing? Dance about? Surely they sense The Presence in their midst! It is hard to tell with humans, but they do look as if they are listening intently. Some shift and fidget and others nod their heads and murmur; some wipe tears from their cheeks and others gaze at the speaker with hungry eyes.
The man talks for a very long time and the crowd swells as more people come to listen. Despite the multitude of humans, we birds rest in peace among the olive branches. For the man has a rare and gentle authority.
At last the man rises to his feet and many of the humans clap and cheer. As they follow him down the mountainside, they chatter amongst themselves and I wonder if this how they express their joy in The Presence.
The sun has travelled across the sky and is on its descent toward the night hours. My throat is dry, so I head for a quiet spring close to my home. Landing near the water’s edge, I wade in a bit and dip my head right under the water, flinging water droplets up so they sparkle in the afternoon sun. Other birds join me and then we flit from one tree to another, drying our feathers in the air currents.
The sun slips behind the distant mountains and it’s time to head to our resting places. I settle in my cozy nook, high amongst the branches of a tree. As I tuck my head under one wing, I’m startled by the screech of an owl. The large bird glides past my tree and the “whoosh” of his wings ruffles my feathers. My heart races, but then The Presence is there with me, saying, "Be still, little sparrow, be still." And so I am.
|Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest |
and raises her young at a place near your altar... ~ Psalm 84:3
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bellabaita/2165930849/; http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmclin/3470755241/; http://www.flickr.com/photos/59898141@N06/5690858901/; http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukasvermeer/3757733660/