River running high, rain event contributing to so much water. Spring switched to summer overnight. No time to waste, no room to lollygag, work must be accomplished, life created and born. No room to sit back and celebrate, to pop a tab and take a swig, to reminisce and reflect.
We arrived last night, after a week, to the mountains. The typical snail’s pace of things, revealed at speed of light, almost violent. That fallen log I could once view from my chair, blocked by walls of overnight growth. The birds move faster here, the lilacs bloom as in time-lapse. All must occur in a shrunken window.
Just last week, a perfect robin’s nest discovered us, constructed low in the V of two trees. We photographed, ooh-ed and aah-ed over the four ethereally blue orbs, each placed with care in the precise location, for the most pleasing presentation. Dreaming of the life encompassed in each, we wondered the reasons for this too-low habitat, concerned for the inhabitants’ safety.
This morning, the nest empty. A couple of impossible thoughts crossed my mind: maybe they were born and flew away..in a week, or the mom and dad devised a clever system to successfully relocate each to safer limb. I eventually realized and accepted the impossibility of my gracious scenarios.
This is the act of nature, the cruelty of life at all costs, the perpetuation of species..something sacrificed for another to live. Perfect recycling, perfect system. We think we should control this stuff. Life without suffering being the ultimate goal. We try to contain rampant disease, fix bad economies, relieve countries run by dictators. We seek justice, cures, healing. We await miracles, Lazarus moves.
Sometimes we are witness to cures, reconciliation in broken relationships, children adopted and brought to loving homes. We pray for and trust miracles can happen. We say this is not the order of things, this is not how it’s supposed to be, this is wrong.
While it is our work to fight for justice, to seek mercy in humility. It is our calling to right wrongs, to bring relief and restoration to this earth we’ve so carelessly battered. It is not our job to make the blind see, to force someone to choose better, to make people care.
My work is to rest in this little corner of my world, observing the needs that present themselves daily, trusting in the first step, the first smile, the first meeting for coffee. My immediate work is to slow myself so I may know and experience God’s infinite and abounding love for me, to learn to be kind and give myself grace. Now I am capable of greater, life-giving, adoring love for my husband, my children, my people.
These are the times where the people and communities closest to us need our gentle care. Teenagers have to be raised. Paychecks brought in, houses cleaned, lawns mowed, children ferried. Among us are hungry homeless and gay teens and foster families, friends with sick children, unanswered questions, painful diagnoses, hurting marriages. Meals will be made, wine will be shared, bread will be broken. We see the heart of God is to bring all things back to her bosom, her heart, her loving embrace.
Maybe the beauty and redemption lie in the smallest of things done with the greatest of love, the notion of the flap of a butterfly wing resulting in a hurricane across the globe. Regardless of belief, regardless of fear, regardless of right or wrong, love is the only answer, the only glue that makes sense of things. The greatest of these. This perfect love is the heart of God, calling back to Herself, to rest, renewal, redemption. This love is the reminder that She’s got the whole world in Her hands. Everything flows out of Her heart, everything is known, cherished, held. Each person pursued regardless of race, gender, sexuality, bottom line, appearance, nationality.
Did that mother and father robin love those precious blue eggs, as I love my children? I’m not sure. The last thing I want to do is assume wrong. The last thing I want to do is make a value judgment – that someone or something is more important than another. I mourn the loss of these precious lives, their potential and beauty.
I trust, in our God of love. I trust and I know each and every thing done with love for self and others impacts the whole world in mighty ways.