Interrupted by a Goldfinch
This afternoon as I was working in the living room I heard a thud against the window. Looking out I saw a dazed looking goldfinch blinking rapidly on the ground. My protective instinct instantly kicked in and I slowly crept out to see if I could help.
I picked him up as gently as I could, making sure not to crush him, and placed him in my hand. He was so dizzy that he couldn’t even stand. His little toes were curled up and he leaned awkwardly on them. He still had a piece of fluff in his beak for nest-building and as I held him I could feel his heart rate increasing.
How on earth could I communicate to this little bird that I was not going to hurt him or eat him?!
I tried opening my hand flat so that he knew that he was free to fly off anytime he liked. His heartbeat raced. I started talking to him in soothing tones telling him how pretty he is and thanking him for singing lovely songs. Heartbeat still racing.
I decided the best thing to do was put him down and let him recover in his own time. I placed him on the ground out of direct sunlight and watched through the window in case a cat decided it had found an easy lunch. He continued to blink madly. After twenty minutes I decided to go out again to see if his wings were ok but as I stepped out he flew straight into the nearest tree! In that moment I remembered a picture I’d seen recently.
The Lion of Judah
Myself and a few friends had the pleasure of being on the ministry team at Bethel’s Culture of Honour conference in Belfast last weekend. What a privilege to be present to see how hungry people were for Jesus! Many people were healed of physical ailments and broken hearts but it was humbling to see how many people simply asked for God to help them live lives of honour towards the people around them.
During one of the times of worship I saw the Lion of Judah padding slowly around the conference room. He was ginormous, the top of His head brushed the ceiling! At first I was confused. With His teeth on display and His claws unsheathed, He appeared to be swiping at the people worshipping with His claws.
As I looked closer however I realised that He wasn’t attacking people.
His claws were cutting not through people but through the chains and bonds that were holding them captive. He used His teeth with precision to free people like sheep trapped in a barbed-wire fence. Fully free, He stretched out His paw again, claws now sheathed, not to cut but to pull people close into an embrace. He wanted them to know His love. As He pulled them in He used enough strength for them to sink deep into His silky mane but not enough to crush them.
If any of those people had seen this fearsome Lion they would have been terrified. And rightly so! Unless you realised that this Lion’s heart was overflowing with love for you it would be easy to assume that He was out to get you and crush you with the full force of His strength. Your first response would be to cower. But He does love us. He is strong. He is mighty. And He fights, not against us, but for us!
It reminds me of this spontaneous song by Steffany Gretzinger:
I’m gently held by the hand that could crush me
But I won’t be afraid ‘cos I know how You love me.
I’ll stay here, I’m safe here.
What a wonder to be loved by Lion of Judah who was born as the Lamb who would be slain to free this silly sheep from her love affair with a barbed-wire fence!
P.s. As I sat watching the little goldfinch, I named him “Freddie”.
P.s.s. In cartoons they portray dizzy people as seeing birds flying around their head chirping. I wonder what Freddie saw flying around his head today?
P.s.s.s. My friend Sandi has a penchant for post scripts, which are often as entertaining (if not more so!) as her observations on life. Be sure to check her out on nyamazela.com.