|Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on October 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM|
The windows of the worship space in our church are large. There is no need for stained glass images to enhance the view and adoration of our Maker, for we can see the handiwork of creation—a variety of trees, daffodils, iris and other plantings at their base, the green grass and blue skies. A few weeks ago a steady rain fell during the service. That just added to the lush beauty of the view each time I glanced out a window. Suddenly, my eyes were drawn to movement and I watched in awe as several bright yellow goldfinches did an aerial dance, rising and swooping in delight, rising higher and then diving toward the grass before they shifted upward again. It seemed as though they were releasing their spirits in utter abandonment to joy. I’m afraid my attention strayed from the sermon as my eyes were riveted to the inflight extravaganza.
I thought goldfinches were vegetarians, eating only seeds of plants, but I wondered if I was wrong and they perhaps were catching some of the vast army of mosquitoes that have inundated our area. I would have been less surprised if they had been swallows, but the colour and size of those birds definitely identified them as goldfinch.
As soon as I returned home, I looked on line to see if goldfinches eat mosquitoes. But according to the sources I investigated, I was right—they are vegetarians.
Maybe those delightful, bright coloured birds were frolicking in exuberant jubilation for the sheer joy of it. I felt a tug in my own heart. We’d had a difficult week with an emergency ambulance trip for my husband, a real scare that his symptoms were life threatening, several days of uncertainty and some still hanging over our heads. Could goldfinches be a reminder to me to let go of the resistance to the rain of difficulty and uncertainty? Could I dance too, knowing that grey showers would water my soul just as surely the rain was watering the earth? Could I just enjoy God’s care for us and do my own dance in the rain?
Over the next few weeks, that picture from the sanctuary window vividly played over and over again in my mind. It seemed every time uncertainty and distinct possibility of more health challenges arose, that scene of joy in the rain came back to me to urge me to dance in spite of or amidst the rain.
Habakkak 3: 17.18 says:
“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”
I could substitute some of the seeming lacks in my own life and that of my husband’s right now, but the good prophet has the idea and we will rejoice in the God of our salvation—even in the rain!
“(For) those who (go) off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.” Psalm 26:5