Look at the birds in the sky.
They don’t sow seed or harvest grain
or gather crops into barns.
Yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Aren’t you worth much more than they are?
–Matthew 6:26 CEB
I woke up to birds singing today. They fill the air with melodies that continue on the same track, but then have new variations when another voice joins in. And they sing.
I wonder what they are singing about. Do they sing about the food that they have gotten for breakfast? Do they sing about the friends that they have seen recently, or have missed for a long time? Do they sing about the sunrise?
I wonder if they are singing about the amazing gift they have been given to make beautiful sounds.
Do I sing enough about the gifts that I have been given? Do I talk about the good friends that I have seen recently? Do I sing about the challenges that I have gone through, only to come out the other side wiser and stronger in my faith?
I wonder if I need to take the guidance of the birds singing their praises, and sing a few more of my own. It would be much more healthy if I praised and celebrated more often, rather than worried and complained. Sometimes it can be hard to find a way to celebrate in the midst of the deepest worries. A complaint is easier to explain than a praise.
Everyone knows that having a back that hurts every day is at the very least, annoying, if not troublesome or debilitating.
What if we could share the grace that we receive in the midst of our aches and pains, and celebrate the things that we did have.
It would be more like the birds singing, than like the complaining worrywart that draws everyone down. The complaints are legitimate, but the spirit of them is closed and harsh.
We’re called to a better way. Jesus talks about the birds and the flowers, and tells us not to worry. But too often this scripture is used to dismiss concerns, and can be given with a poor spirit. if you quote Matthew 6:25-34 to someone who just was diagnosed with cancer, and then tell them they shouldn’t be worried because of it, you haven’t stopped to hear their story.
Not only does Jesus say that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow, but he also recognizes that today “has enough trouble of its own.”(v34).
As Christians living in community, we are called to support and lift each other up. In the midst of the struggles, in the midst of the worries, in the midst of the hardships, we aren’t supposed to spackle scripture and advice on those around us, and hope for the best.
It takes a deeper work. It takes time, and conversation, and quiet, and opening the wound up so that the Physician can get a good look and rub the salve deep into our souls.