The words “gracefully broken” blared in my head that I couldn’t even hear the rush of the water from faucet as I washed my face.
I love this song. It is so powerful. It is a complete and utter giving of all that I can be and need to be.
You see, there are days that I can get up out of bed and bull right through the day, and then there are days, in which my heart feels heavy, my mind is a tornado of thoughts and worries, and my body just feels burdened with responsibility and expectations from others to do this, plan that, and handle it all.
And so, there it was, the song playing in my mind as I made breakfast for my girls and got their lunches ready for school. Why this song of all days? Why today?
And then I looked outside and there he was. Our feathered visitor, the Northern Cardinal. Perched on leafless branch staring at me through our deck sliding door.
A great comfort came over me. This little guy has been visiting us weekly for the last two months. Like an angel telling me, it’s okay, give in, surrender, and all will work out fine.
My joyless cup was slowly filling. I reached for my cellphone to take a picture of the bird. I’ve done it twice on two separate occasions last month, but both those photos have come out blurry.
Picture A: Picture B:
Getting the right focus, my older daughters called out to me. “Mom, stop. Don’t take a picture the cardinal. Just remember him.”
God, Jesus, a little spirit watching over me, my girls, my husband, and all my family.
So, I put the phone down and watched our friend, memorizing all of his beautiful details. From his bright red plumage, to his black-masked face, and regal stance, I was in awe. God’s precious life.
And then in blink of an eye, he was gone. But, his image still remained.
We are in the thick of winter here in the Midwest, and the branches are bare as I sit and type on my laptop. They move gracefully in the wind like a choreographed ensemble of dancers. Though the tree is naked, inside it is baring fruit and getting ready for Spring. One day soon, new leaves will emerge. Until then, that tree branch will not be empty. For God will send me an angel of comfort for those days that I am not strong enough.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.