Mama called me over. The door had gently shut as the two men of the house still lay in slumber. Having accidentally had my alarm still set for 5.30am, I was awake to see Mama off to work. As she came back inside, her voice echoed through the winter-chilled walls.
“Can you come and rescue this bird for me?”
Curiosity pricked my heart. I was gently rocking in the grandma chair that comforted my weary limbs, fan heater blasting a warm breath on my summer pyjamas. As I moved outside, the early morning ice invited me on an adventure. I tiptoed on the winter rain, stripping off my socks and flirting with the puddles. The car rested, a statue of slumber, eager for a visitor after the long night.
“I think he may have broken his foot or have a damaged wing”
Mama pointed to the little brown bird near the back wheel. She had called for backup in her rescue mission, someone to come and care for this little created one. The early morning commute was demanding her attention as we stood at the edge of the garage.
As I neared the little bird, I was unsure of it’s predicament. Would it fly away? Would it stay? Scooping it up, I hoped it wouldn’t flurry away. But the small feathered body erupted, shivering.
This is winter’s welcome; inviting us all to release our deepest fears,
to shake away the thought that our souls aren’t so still
… aren’t so warm and filled.
I struggled to grasp the little created one, not wanting to press too tight, to hold too firm, to break it’s feathered body. As the brown blur escaped me, I realised how frightening fragility is. Fear arises when we see a need, an innocence, a wounding – and are unable to do anything. Helplessness is paralysing.
The little one scurried away, struggling to remain a ruler-width above the ground. My fear increased as the wings beat above the bitumen, in line of more danger. I imagined those early morning commuters with their coffee comas missing this blur of broken beauty. So with bare legs I pursued my little friend. Scooping him up again, I gently held him in my cupped palm … but he broke free. I let those little wings fly as he fluttered over the garden and fence. Gone like the wind.
That morning, I made and lost a little friend. I don’t know where he went, whether his wing healed … but I saw him saved from harms way. I thank God for the little glimpse at the beauty of a rescue mission. And I wanted to share my learnings. I found it interesting how the one being rescued tried to escape and fly away. Often the thought of being helped makes us stubborn. We associate need with being weak. So we attempt to do it ourselves, using our own strength. And because of our need, we often fail miserably. By choosing our own way, we miss the strength found in shared burdens and the power of surrender. Oh don’t we all wish we could bear our burdens alone, show off our strength and might to make a successful life for ourselves… When inside we’re falling apart, unable to do it alone. We don’t realise we’re on the other side of the rescue mission… we try to save ourselves, to be superwoman (or superman) … when really we’re the one needing to be rescued.
We need a Rescuer who knows our needs better than we do.
A Rescuer who will pursue and provide for us.
A Rescuer whose power is made perfect in weakness.
What a beautiful revelation. To be reminded of the need for humility, confession and the recognition of failure and inability. How often we can fear weakness and be afraid of our sin and shortcoming. Yet how reassuring to reflect upon the humility, forgiveness and victory found in Jesus. To know that the Father’s love for us is perfect and he knows our deepest need.
He is consistent and persistent in his pursuit.
His love is relentless.
His care and compassion is one of deliberation and determination.
He is the Rescuer who is intentional and intimate, reaching far and wide.
His love never fails.
He leaves 99 to search for 1.
Seeking out the lost.
Searching the ends of the earth.
Calling those in need.
He is waiting.
Ready to restore and repair.
Ready to reconcile.
He has made a way for this restoration, this reconciliation in the blood of his Son. There is now NOTHING that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Because of Christ righteousness’ we can come before God, pure and holy as he is holy. He calls us to this holiness, to himself, pursuing us and setting us apart. His is a ministry of reconciliation.
How he loves each and everyone of his created, and calls them to be with him forever!
For I am sure that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord
~ Rom. 8:38-9