I decided it was finally time to uncover the deacons’ bench and do a spring cleaning of the porch. It was still a bit cool, but the afternoon sun was warm. After finishing, I sat on the bench for a while, loving the sights and sounds of spring. I had to look closely to see the swelling of leaf buds on the trees, but birds were rejoicing in the warm sun too, and I knew the daffodils nodded and danced in the breeze in the church’s Memorial Garden.
“. . . The winter is passed, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth: the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” – Song of Solomon 2:11,12
New life seemed everywhere. As I sat, I watched a couple of sparrows and finches hopping from limb to limb, a downy woodpecker searching the length of a branch for a treat, and a robin in another tree and one on the ground. I challenged myself to determine which bird was singing the pretty song. It turned out it was a little purple finch, its beak seeming to barely open. What a beautiful strong sound from such a little thing. I thought how abilities, gifts from God, are often disguised by appearances. Or perhaps it is more appropriate to say our expectations are often guided by appearances, but how we can be surprised.
A few years ago, 10 year old Jackie Evancho, a petite and pretty child, stood on the America’s Got Talent stage and opened her mouth to sing with a lovely and powerful voice, much like my little finch in the tree. I then thought of Mother Teresa who was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in a comfortable family (and had a lovely singing voice), but responded to a call to work with the poor and sick in the slums of Calcutta. And then I thought of the tough American soldiers saving stray dogs, even bringing them home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
I guess my point is that God has given us all unique gifts, and we just need to recognize them. Some things come naturally to us so we fail to see them as gifts until we realize that others can’t do what we do so easily.
So as spring bursts into bloom, I think it is good to look at what we ourselves can do to bloom bountifully or sing magnificently, or even adequately but with joy, and live life abundantly and to share those gifts with each other to the glory of God.
Blessings as Spring bursts forth,