Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stopping to Listen

I seldom go for a walk without first choosing a soundtrack and putting in my earbuds. Today, however, I started out the door with headphones in my pocket but no music playing. Walking to a park near my childhood home, I enjoyed the crunchy sound of the gravel path beneath my sneakers. Suddenly, an incessant squawking broke into my thoughts. I do not normally stop to look up in trees while walking (perhaps I should), but this particular squawking caught my attention, and I began searching the branches for its source. I had to laugh when I spotted the creature, because it was one of my significant little friends - the bluejay (see first post for significance). I was a little surprised at the sound of this bird's tone. I would expect a bird with such beautiful colors to have a beautiful song, but it was literally squawking, the same thing, over and over and over again.

Whenever a bluejay crosses my path, it is my custom to observe it closely until it flies out of sight. So I watched this little guy from beneath the branches, watched as its white underbelly puffed up and ruffled with earnest. What is he saying? I wish I could know. He would speak, then wait for two seconds, and then say the same thing again. This went on for several minutes, and then he changed branches. Then he went to another tree. What or who is he looking for? Several seconds before he flew away, I thought I started to hear a bird answering him. He would speak, then the other bird would speak, back and forth until my bluejay flew away. Where is he going? Is he going to find the other bird?

As I moved away from the tree and my feet resumed crunching, I tried to make some applicable analogy of my experience. I like applicable analogies, so here it is...

Sometimes I feel like I'm saying the same things over and over again - crying the same things - to God. Somehow, though, I don't think He gets tired of hearing them, even if I get tired of hearing myself. They are not always pretty songs I have to offer Him. Sometimes it's just a cry, and it's all I've got. The same things, the same basic sources of longing and grieving and hoping. Even if it sounds like He's a long way off, I can start to hear Him answer. If I want to, I can ask a few more times just to be sure, before leaving the comfort of my perch - the one I've been crying from for so long - and flying off towards the source, towards the answer.

1 comment:

  1. Even squawking is sweet music to his ears, so long as we talk to him!