Worn, weathered and falling apart. My village of (cottage-shaped) birdfeeders faired not so well over the harsh winter. The layers of material that once made them whole are shredding, coming apart at the seams. Winter made them, well…ugly. What was once a quaint and precious haven for hungry little melodic birds now looks like the undesired, dilapidated, wrong side of the tracks. A bird slum. Sadly, no amount of fresh air or sunshine is going to make them look new again. They require nothing short of total restoration.
In a sad state of peering through mud-colored glasses, the more fragile and broken the cottage birdfeeders appear to my eyes, the more I neglect their filling. I fail to pour into brokenness. The flocks of birds that have come to trust I will provide for them are redirected on a new journey, for more.
The empty battered feeders hang on shepherd’s hooks around the perimeter of the winter garden, where mulch and leafless branches of one “burning bush” have stolen the show. The view from my reading chair has never been so cold. Frozen. Lifeless. Though a peripheral glance in my eyeball this morning caused a sudden jerk of my neck to see something fresh and hopeful. Something new. Alive. Green, hopeful new life has awakened from the thawed earth to spring up and greet my weathered soul. Like the promise of the rainbow, tiny green buds peeking through the mulch remind me that my life also has its seasons and the storm will not last forever. The sun will come out again.
Psalm 31:7 “I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.”
I too am ugly when my seams stretch and pull apart, when storms shatter my heart. Whether I allow life to rush me right past the roses, or the weight of want to hang shadows over my hope, I too can be rendered lifeless in my wintery seasons. While frozen, layers of my togetherness peel, crack, and break. I can flat out fall apart. No matter how many pieces of myself land in the dirt and get lost in the mulch, the Spirit of the One who offered joy and hope to my life will be there. There to collect my pieces, bring me to full restoration and pour into me. He has never left me untended to and un-mended. He has never left me lost on this journey, looking for more. He won’t leave me broken.
The death and promised resurrection of Christ ushered in a new season. One of hope and new life. One of redemption, restoration, and transformation, filled with peace and in joy. His blood poured out that day and filled our souls with longing for His mission, a journey with His spirit, to an un-broken home on the right side of the Heavenly tracks. He is spring. He is a spring of living water within us. Like buds sprouting forth from the dirt, He redeems the dead.
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John 4:14 “but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”