taking flight

Every year a mama bird builds her nest atop one of our porch pillars. Newborns tweet the morning alarm, perched high above the reach of the stray cats that inevitably come. Stealthily they prowl about, hoping one of the babies will test its wings too soon and breakfast will be served. Mama returns with food and a soothing lullaby. She nurtures and strengthens her young, preparing them for the future. Meanwhile, the enemy lurks below.

Most of the babies stay put, nestled away in a fortress of twigs and leaves. But every once in a while, one will grow restless. Mama doesn't return before hunger overtakes sense. Shaky, immature wings are no match for gravity. The enemy pounces, struts away in victory.

I've watched the ritual each Spring. This year it moves me to tears.

It's nearly 18 years since I became a Mama. By God's grace, I've nurtured and protected. The enemy has come close, but my baby has been shielded atop the pillar of God's truth. Her dad and I have provided what we could and loved all we could. We've trusted God for the rest.

In my mind I trace the outline of her fragile wings. Will they stand up to the pull of this world, the lure of the enemy? Will she know where to find protection? Have we taught her how to soar?

It doesn't seem that long ago that I sang her to sleep, but the nights of tucking her in have long since past. The days of knowing she'll be there when I return to the nest, chirping about her day and mesmerizing me with her glorious plumage, are coming to an end. These are the final months of wrapping her tight in my graying wings. Watching her grow has been a gift that I will cherish always. I spend these days singing songs I hope will prepare her for the future. Meanwhile, my heart aches with the thought of it.

It's almost time for her to fly.

Comments

  1. Beautiful analogy my friend. Bittersweet days, for sure!! You have trained her up in the way that she should go, and the Lord goes with her! What a precious thing to ponder. Big Mama-Hugs to you! With Love, Camille

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  2. This is so beautiful! Oh my mama heart aches at the thought. Rest assured she will always be under His wings! Praying for you all! XOXOX

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