Yesterday I was sitting in the back room reading when I heard a thump on the sliding glass door. I got up and looked out to see a sparrow sitting in the snow, wings spread out, apparently dazed. Being the Good Samaritan that I am, I opened the door, scooped up the bird and deposited it on a table where he just sat there gathering his composure. Leaving the room for awhile, I took Linda breakfast in bed, completely forgetting the bird in the meantime. Suddenly remembering, I told Linda we had a problem. "What's that?" she inquired.
"I can't find the bird."
"You can't find the bird?" she said, in that tone of voice that only an experienced wife can assume. I told her the story, ending with our having a bird sitting on the table in the back room. "In a box, right?"
"Not quite. Just sitting on the table." She gave me one of those looks, so I went back downstairs to find the table empty and the bird gone. There's only so much room where he could go, and I looked high and low, to no avail. I was worried that our cat might start looking too, so I 'fessed up to Linda and she joined the search. The good news was, there were no telltale feathers lying around.
I finally found the critter hiding in a corner by the door, and picked him up. He had however, recovered enough to escape my grasp, which he did. Unfortunately, he didn't escape the cat's grasp. It amazes me how that lazy cat can move like lightening when sufficiently motivated. I guess lunch fits into that category. I chased the cat into the kitchen and managed to grab it, whereupon he dropped the bird. Tossing the cat out into the entry room, now we had to locate the bird again. It was a bit easier this time; all I had to do was follow the trail of feathers. I found him in the corner of the dining room, but when I reached for him, he jumped up and flew straight into the dining room window. Stupid bird! When Linda picked it up, it seemed a bit perkier than I thought it might be, given that it had collided with two windows and barely escaped being cat food.
"Now what?" Linda asked.
"Take him outside and toss him into the air." This would be the acid test of our rescue skills. If he just flopped to the ground, we could always open the entry room door and let the cat have the snack for which he had worked so hard. All's well that ends well, and when she tossed the bird, it flew away. A bit erratically, but it did fly. I guess I'd be a little erratic too, if I had nearly knocked myself out running into a window and almost been eaten. All in all, I'd say it was a lucky bird.
Often, life seems to be one problem after another. We go from a mistake in judgment to unexpected rescue to near catastrophe in short order. We wonder where God is in it, never dreaming that he delivers us, not to lead us into disaster, but to demonstrate his ability to transform even the worst of our situations into blessing and freedom. Like that bird, we fly into unseen obstacles, knocking the wind out of our sails, only to experience deliverance, only to find ourselves in an even worse situation. But God is faithful, and gently picks us up and sets us free to fly again. And for that I am very thankful tonight.