|This little Carolina wren brightened my day today.|
Today is the 22nd anniversary of my father's death. I am able to smile now when I feel the sorrow of remembrance, because it is an affirmation of how deep our love for one another was, and is. Because Dad knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior, I know we will meet again, but I will continue to miss him until then.
This afternoon the little bird in the photo above landed on the rail just outside the window adjacent to the table I use as my desk. I am rarely able to get clear images of the birds who land at our feeders because I use my phone for photos, and I need to be quite close to my subject if I want to bring it into proper focus. But this little guy stayed within camera range long enough for me to snap 14 clear photos.
He then flew to the dormant lilac bush next to the feeder and began to sing. He continued singing until it was nearly dark and all the other birds had gone to roost for the night. It was unusual; a sound of spring in mid-winter.
Please don't worry. I do not think the bird was my dad in disguise or any such nonsense as this. I don't even think my dad sent the bird; I don't believe he has authority to do that! But I know someOne who does.
How sweet to serve a God who feels our sorrows, has compassion for us, and is able to provide encouragement when our hearts have wavered under the burdens of the long cold of winter. We are 15 years into the winter of my mother's Alzheimer's disease, and I am her only relative. I'm weary of the burdens of caregiving, responsibilities that do not stop just because she has entered nursing home care; in some ways the obligations have increased. The Lord knows this, and the little bird today reminded me that grief is temporary, sorrows will end, and spring will indeed arrive.
Meantime it is precious to receive the encouragement of hope from the hand of the Lord who loves us. He hasn't left us to bear our burdens alone; he bears them with us and for us. He knows how to strengthen and encourage a weary heart, and I am grateful for His encouragement today.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.