by Michelle Welch
“Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:33-34 (NIV)
There is a large magnolia tree in my garden that shades a large corner of the yard. It is green year-round which is somewhat of a comfort to me when everything else is brown and dead-looking. It has just bloomed, putting on quite a show with stunning white blossoms and shiny, green leaves. We put our chairs and table under the tree. It is where we sit in the mornings to do our devotions, read the paper, drink coffee, and meditate. When family is here, we have gathered under the tree for rousing discussions and loud laughter. Some tears have been shed under the tree as broken hearts were mended and pieces were put back together.
I have hung numerous bird feeders in the branches of the tree. Actually, I have bird feeders all over the yard, much to the dismay of Sweetheart. The birds favor the shade of the magnolia, singing and fluttering from limb to limb before braving the feeders when we are sitting there. Finches, sparrows, and chickadees are the most common visitors. Yellow and red and orange are the splashes of color I see amongst the dark backdrop of green. There is a symphony of song at any time of the day.
The finches and chickadees come right down to the feeders while I am outside. They are bold, unafraid. Then there are the beautiful orioles and tanagers. They sit high in the tree and wait until all is calm and quiet before darting down for a bite of fruit, quickly retreating back into the shadows. The white-winged doves and the blue jays are loud, pushing everyone aside, taking all the good stuff, even if it’s not really what they want.
It occurred to me how much like these birds we are. Some of us are bright and flashy. Some of us are pushy and loud. Some of us are small and timid. A lot of us are just average, waiting our turn, sitting on the fringes.
Some of the birds that visit are almost invisible to the eye. Some are small and grey, blending into the background. Soft brown feathers on the wrens become one with the branches of the tree. I notice them only when they begin to flutter around the feeders after the big birds leave.
Often that is how we feel when we are a part of this big world. Small. Invisible. Insignificant. I am certain that I am not the only one who wonders if anyone ever notices me. It has taken me fifty years to come to the point where I truly believe I am beautiful. I am like the plain little sparrow. No makeup, no flashy clothes, no slim, trim, go-to-the-gym body. I sit in church surrounded by orioles and tanagers, wondering if a little brown sparrow can make a difference.
I came across a scripture that brings me great joy on the occasions when I feel plain. “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31 (NLT)
When I close my eyes in the morning, sitting out under that tree, it matters not whether the bird is plain and simple or beautiful and flashy. The songs they sing blend together in a melody that brings joy to my heart. I know that it is the same for my Abba. No matter how we come before the Lord, our lives will be beautiful songs to Him. Sing a song of praise today and let the Lord know that your joy is because of His love for you.
What song brings beauty to your life when you sing it with praise? Please share your favorite praise song.
Copyright © 2014, Michelle Welch, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Images courtesy of Michelle Welch, all rights reserved. Scripture from The Holy Bible, New International Version and New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation.