Thursday, May 23, 2013

Focus, Ascend, Take Courage ---- Dive... and loop...

Rusty wire with barbs every 6 inches, the blue jay sat precariously there.

The wire was nailed to the old fence post that held a weathered birdhouse, a wooden, hinged roof, 4x4 box that had given safe haven to new bluebirds for over a decade of Springs. A place my eyes had been drawn to for just as many years.

Blue-jays are pretty birds. Colorful and almost majestic looking in the way they hold their heads so high and move with such confidence. But my Papa James taught me years ago ----- they are bully-birds. They steal and kill, not because they need to, but just because they're mean. Once in my childhood i watched a blue-jay snag a tiny wren baby from its nest. No feathers on its pink fragile skin. The old blue-jay picked it up in its merciless beak, flew away ---- and dropped the babe. I ran trying to catch it, cringing when the tiny ounce of flesh crashed onto the road. Death was the mean birds only objective. There is meanness in this fallen world.

During our last week on Mockingbird Road, Steve and i sat on our front porch drinking in the view and soaking in the feel of this white-post-framed sanctuary ----- and on this particular morning we watched the blue-jay on the wire.
We knew there were babies inside that wooden box beside him, but we also felt confident he could not reach his big head in the tiny hole fitted perfectly for petite little Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird. Still we watched closely and Steve sat ready to frighten him away if needed.
Then the lesson came ---- from Abba.

Two tiny bluebirds began swooping and diving, attacking without a touch, speed and teamwork on their side as they focused all their energy on the intruder; their sole purpose was to protect what had been given to them. Their little ones huddled inside the wooden box just inches away from the cruel beak of the blue-jay, the mom and dad bluebirds were fierce. The blue-jay was three times the size of either of the blue-birds. He was bigger, meaner, and cared nothing for the ones they were willing to give their lives to save. We were mesmerized as we silently watched the battle between good and evil happening in front of our eyes.
The bluebirds seemed to almost be dancing with each other as they worked together, each responding with perfect timing to the movements of the other. When one dove to swoop close to the intruder, the other was high and turning to begin its dive. The old jay had little time to regroup himself after one fly-by before the next was upon him. It was intense ---- in the world of birds.
i thought of soldiers all over the world --- the battles they face, never seen by those of us tucked away in our safe houses --- rarely aware of the danger others have worked so hard to save us from. I'm so thankful for the many good, upright soldiers i know. Warriors without wings.

I remembered a Family Circus comic strip i had saved years ago when our children were little. I had clipped it from the paper, laminated it, and taped it on our kitchen cabinets ---- it was a reminder, that i should never forget or take for granted... In the first frame, the mother knelt beside her child's bed for bedtime prayers. The view was from the outside of the house, looking through the window at the touching scene. Next frame, the child asked the mother, "Do you really think our prayers make a difference mom?". Next frame, a masked man is lurking outside the same child's window, in the darkness. Last frame, the police are cuffing the would-be burglar carting him away-- the little child sleeping peacefully. 

Rarely do we see the many times we are being saved.

The little baby birds inside their wooden world had no knowledge of the masked burglar clinging with long claws to wire just inches from them.
But mom and dad bird knew ----- and they were brave.

It did not matter to them that the enemy before them was triple their size. It did not matter that he was stronger or meaner. They knew he could snap them with his long jay claws ---- but their focus and passion and teamwork were steadily smothering his schemes.

And their battle tactics were so effective. They worked together, each held their position, the enemy was being thrown off balance by their perseverance and diligence. They worked in perfect timing and with mirror like movements. Their assault to the intruder came constantly from above ---- that was important. They did not swoop to the side --- the jay could have seen them coming then and prepared a claw to receive them in the seconds before they arrived. Wisely, the tiny troopers attacked from above. They found courage from heights far above the invader below.

Steve noted ---- their willingness to fly high above the jay and attack from over his head was what gave them the greatest advantage. But this meant that after each wave they made, they had to be willing to work their wings to ascend again. Nothing about what they did was easy or simple --- but it was completely beautiful and effective. Two ounces of tiny, sky-blue feather covered warriors had us transfixed.

And tears came again as i realized we were spending out last Tuesday morning watching blue-birds care for babies on the fence post across from the "nest" we'd cared for and guarded for 31 years.

There's rusty barbed wire all around us isn't there Lord. We live in this fallen world don't we --- for now. But, there are mighty, tiny battalion commanders right in front of us. They battle for all that is innocent and pure and weak and in need. They work together --- they fight fearlessly --- they have their minds set on what is right and good and noble and excellent --- what is beautiful and lovely and admirable and praiseworthy. You made the little fragile baby birds and You made the ones who fight to defend them. You are over it all. And when we keep our focus and ascend regularly to take in what only You can give us, we will take courage for the next dive, the next battle, the next move you call us to. 

You give us "wings" -- 
so we can fly daily, 
swoop when needed, 
and work together with the winged ones around us.

And You promise us we will always be able to find shelter under Your wings. (Psalm 91: 4)

Lessons from little ones --- You use the simple... --- how is it Lord that You can be so completely Holy, Majestic, Perfect, and Powerful and yet You will still pause to teach us so patiently.

Last week we left Mockingbird Road.
I thought it would likely crush me somewhere deep inside.
But --- there are singing birds everywhere --- there are warriors of Light all around --- i can ascend to You from every address found on earth ---- You, great God, are not limited by our location --- You are over it all, accomplishing Your goodness in all places --- watching for Your children to spread their wings, ascend high towards You to gather more strength for the day, and keep steady at the work You have called us to.

If the fragile blue-birds can battle so valiantly on Mockingbird Road ----- then may your children walk with a confidence that has the aroma of YOU at every address, on every street, in every "nest" you carry them to.

Ascending again today --- with wings spread wide ---- thankful.

Steve and i on the shores of Lake Turkana --- such a long way from... Mockingbird Road...

©2013 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe


  1. Beautiful and true, just like Jesus. This spoke to my heart just now, reminding me of His truth that I so need to hear TODAY. Thanks, Donna. Love the pix.

  2. Hey Donna,
    Deitra sent me your blog. I would like to be put on the mailing list so I can remember to offer up a few prayers for ya'll every now and then. You and Steve are brave soldiers of the cross. I enjoyed doing 40 days of joy with you. Hold that place in the Spirit!!'Love,
    Jane Joiner