Tuesday, June 14, 2011

That Annoying Bird

In early spring, we began to hear the cry of a bird nesting in the trees of the vacant lot next door. Arrggghhh! It was an irritating sound, slicing through the early morning silence like an annoying alarm clock that won’t shut off. “Oh, no,” I cried out. “Not a crow!” I wanted the chatter of tiny colorful songbirds at our bird feeder, not an ugly bird hiding in the trees, mocking me. The annoying noises continued, day after day.

Last weekend while sitting on the front porch, we heard the bird again, and Bill saw something fly by and perch in our neighbor’s enormous tree. “Doesn’t look like a crow,” he said. It had a white underbelly and a curved beak. It continued to yell at us from high on the tree branch.

Bill went inside and looked it up on the computer. “It’s a peregrine falcon,” he said, “the fastest bird on earth.”

My reaction to the bird was instantly transformed from “Woe!” to “Wow!” An object of annoyance had become in my mind something treasured. I saw the bird differently. It was no longer trespassing on my turf, but graced our lives with its magnificence.

What happened in my mind? It was the same bird. It made the same noise. But now I viewed him from a new perspective.

Looking through radically new eyes, that annoying kid, husband, friend, or neighbor, may actually be a blessing in disguise (or the opportunity for us to be). They may be annoying and irritating only because they infringe on our own agenda, personal peace and happiness or, sadly, how we think the person SHOULD be-- as if we were God.

And yet….it is God who sees all things so radically different. He doesn’t see us as we SHOULD be; He sees us as we really are, without our costumes and disguises, without the baggage we have picked up along the way, and without excuses. He always sees from the way He designed us, always deeper, more graciously, more loving, and amazingly profound and personal. This is God who chose the awkward, the marginal, and the often annoying little brothers to be the leaders of His Kingdom, the people we would never expect, because He sees them differently. He sees us differently too.

He sees the falcon in us.

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