Friday, March 30, 2007
It's not only the name of a popular Kiwi pop group. It's also what we could name our new back porch!
A few weeks ago, the wind blew our birdfeeder so hard that it knocked it open from the top. I was planning to go out and fix it, but before I had the chance, I noticed that a pair of birds were starting to scope it out as a possible nest site. Sure enough, within a couple of weeks, a very opportunistic set of house finches had constructed a nest inside of it. We decided to leave it alone to see if they'd carry through on raising their young. We were a little concerned because this feeder (now house) hangs just 3 feet from our kitchen window. The door to our back porch is directly next to it, and our grill is right under it. We figured we might disturb them since we have to use that door in order to take our garbage out. As you can see from the picture, they couldn't care less that we're here. Last night the female sat undeterred on her clutch of eggs while I went back and forth between the kitchen and the grill.
Then, this morning, as I was watching them, my eyes were drawn to another spot of nest-building activity just beyond them. Sure enough, in the tree that stands closer than 10 feet from the bird feeder (now house), a pair of robins is now building their nest. We are going to be able to watch two different species of birds rear their young from our own kitchen window. This is all the more fortunate if you consider that our yard--if you even may call it that--is about the size of a postage stamp. The one tree--if you even may call it that--that officially stands in our yard is so close to our neighbors' property that it's difficult to ascertain who actually owns it. All three of our houses come together very close in the back yet there is a little cluster of shrub-trees that manage to squeeze in there. It's all very crowded, yet somehow the birds find it to be prime real estate!
What a perfect image for the way that the grace of God's kingdom surprisingly breaks into the world around us, often where we'd least expect it to make a beachhead. We should be so foolish to think that God can't find an entry point for new life and forgiveness where things look rather bleak and, well, crowded.
"He also said, 'With what can we compare to the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." Mark 4:30-32