My hanging geranium plant has a guest. A mama bird made a nest, moved in and laid five eggs. The plant hangs on my front porch, and the anxious mama bird stays busy darting back and forth between an overhanging utility wire and her nest. She flies back and forth whenever noise or movements startle her. We go out the front door and drive up the driveway often, so she often comes and goes. According to my calculations, the eggs should hatch in the next couple of days, so I’ve been trying hard to provide her with as much peace and quiet as possible—which, on nights like last night—doesn’t always work so well.
I wasn’t quite sure how to make last evening’s hour-and-a-half impromptu fish fry with my kids, seven grandkids and four dogs—including a five-month-old labradoodle who was joyfully energetic after returning from his first ever grooming—quiet and peaceful.
Perhaps it was my neurotic concern for the bird, a picture of a snake I’d seen on Facebook, and an article about a near fatal accident that prompted my dream last night. Or, maybe it happened to teach me a spiritual lesson. Either way, it was one of those dreams that seems so realistic that you wake up exhausted from all the action.
The dream began with one of the grandkids putting the nest (complete with eggs) in his/her (can’t remember which one did this) mouth to see if that would make them hatch. My daughter, concerned that it wasn’t best for her child to have a bird’s nest in his/her mouth, grabbed the nest and tried to put it back in its seemingly safe place. However, she had forgotten that it belonged in the plant and instead put it in a crevice in the wall near the roof. So, I attempted to relocate it back to its original position in the geranium. As I reached in to grab the nest I realized it was encircled by a very large snake that had made its home in the crevice. Terrified, I asked my daughter to distract the snake by playing drums on the side of the house. It worked. When the snake looked away I quickly (and bravely I might add) grabbed the nest and carried it back to the geranium—phwew—close call.
All seemed to be well with the transition until the mother bird excitedly flew back toward her nest. In her haste she flew into the porch ceiling, went limp and hit the floor with a thud. I was devastated for the bird, and that after all the drama—this unfortunate series of events would end with a thud. Of course, I did the only thing that could be done—performed CPR on the bird. It was a complete success as she got up and flew back to the plant and sat on her nest. What a relief!
Soon after waking up from this exhausting dream I went to check on the bird, fearing the worst. She was there, still waiting and warming her eggs. I was relieved. As one who tends to be fearful and worry too often (hard to tell, I know)— I took this as a reminder of God’s loving care for me. I needed that.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:26-27
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Matthew 23:37
God has often rescued me out of the mouth of danger, lovingly lifted me to safe places, and performed spiritual CPR on me again and again. May I, as the scripture above states, always be willing to be gathered under his wings.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4