The old Sweet Gum tree bustled with activity as Mr. Sparrow watched with a protective eye. My searching eyes spotted three pairs building nests one string or dried grass at a time. I named the mature sparrow male, Mr. Harry. A beautiful bird, watchful and always knew where I was. He would let me know if I overstayed my welcome under the shade of the old tree.
Harry knew my every move; I was in his territory. He had a family to protect.
“Good morning Mr. Harry.” I would sing out! Chirp-Chirp he sang.
Activity increased as the birds finished building the nests and then shared life as they waited for tiny blue eggs to hatch. Harry provided for his mate with constant attention and awareness. It was apparent the other birds in the tree paid attention to Harry too.
Chiiiiirrrrrrrp-Chir-Chip (danger) Harry’s warnings were always loud and clear! Ending on a high note whenever an intruder came too close to the tree.
One morning, Harry sang without stopping. He and Mrs. Sparrow double timing trips in and out of the tree. The parents kept busy gathering and feeding the young chicks. Each week the baby chick’s peeping grew louder. Except when Harry sounded danger. He stopped what he was doing and flew to a look-out point. Keeping everyone informed.
I wish I knew what Harry was saying.
Oklahoma is known for strong southern winds roaring down the plains. The day the chicks left the nest the wind was strong with frequent gusts forty to fifty miles per hour. I had writer’s block for several hours when I decided to brave the wind and take a walk to clear my head. The weather report just said severe storms were on their way.
As I rounded the building to go back in, I saw Harry’s daughter in the grass. Just as she started to fly up into the tree, a strong gust that nearly knocked me backward blew the baby bird to the ground. I said out loud, “Oh No!” Harry flew down to the baby bird, chirping encouragement before he flew back up to the lowest branch swaying in the wind. His chirping continued.
The baby bird peeped and chirped. Through the wind, I could barely hear her cries for help, but her father heard. I watched her rustle her feathers, her fear captivating me.
From the tree, I heard Harry tell her “You can do it. You must do it.” I was afraid to move as I watched the scene play out, the wind blowing harder as the sky turned dark. A distant rumble of thunder warned rain was on the way.
The little bird flew half way and came back. Her peeps and half-chirps carried a hopeless note to her father in the tree. Again he flew to her side, chirped then flew back to the tree. I prayed “Father God, please help the little bird, if the storm hits she will surely die.”
The wind died down to an untypical roar. The baby bird fluttered her downy feathers, shuttering as if to say “I can do it” I saw her take off at the same time I felt another powerful gust. It appeared like she was flying in slow motion. At times like a hovering helicopter. I heard Harry chirping encouragement. He was waiting for her.
She made it! The branch bouncing in the gust dipped down just in time.
Harry flew to her side, and after a few fatherly chirps, she hopped and flew to an interior branch protected by dense leaves where she could rest. Harry flew to the fork above her and started a beautiful song.
I closed my eyes; my heart heard the words he was singing.
“This is my daughter, she overcame her fear and battled the fierce wind. Listen, my friends; my daughter showed her strength and her determination; she is worthy of only the most gallant of young suitors. She is beautiful and has her mother’s faith. Today, she showed courage; she won over the wind. I am proud of my daughter. She is loved”
Harry continued singing his song until a crack of thunder followed by massive raindrops forced everyone to take shelter. I never heard him sing the melody before or since. It was a love song.
“What would it take?” I asked the wind.
My Dad had never said he was proud of me. He tells his friends of my accomplishments to make himself feel important. But for me; he’s silent.
Do I remain the black sheep in his eyes? A tear slid down my cheek, followed by others dripping off my chin and onto the desktop.
Then I smiled reaching for my Bible.
God, brought this verse to my attention the night before.
It took a majority of my life to understand my Heavenly Father loved me. I doubted God’s faithfulness and that he would provide for me. His abundant love was a distant dream.
Grasping God’s love was more challenging when I needed someone just to give me a hug or a pat on the back. I recognize He was there even when I didn’t feel His touch.
Have you been there? Unsure if you are worthy or something is wrong with you or being ashamed of your past fills your heart with doubts.
A sparrow named Harry revealed how God celebrates over us. He is our champion and takes delight us. In his love, we find new life. When we battle the impossible, He sings a song just for us. He joyfully celebrates over each of us. It has been weeks now since I heard Harry sing his daughter’s praise. Love carried above the wind for anyone to hear. The song engrained in my mind.
I close my eyes listening until I can sense my Heavenly Father, singing my praise. “This is my daughter, Mary Lyn. She writes words that heal, inspires, motivates, and reaches out for Jesus. My love for her has no boundaries.”
THIS IS LOVE.