In April of 2003 I was a few months into a new ministry which was stretching me beyond anything I had ever experienced and calling for things from me that I thought were not there and never would be there.
On the fourteenth I took our oldest daughter Holly out for coffee. That morning a list of pressing duties was running in my mind, but I knew I wanted to give my daughter all my attention and all my heart. It was her birthday.
We drove to the coffee shop. I parked the car and walked around to get Holly’s door, thinking about the things I had to do and the decisions I had to make. It was a warm early-spring day. In the wonderfully unpredictable North where we live you may have flowers and sunshine in mid-April or you may have a late snowfall. As we walked toward the shop Holly said; “One of the things I love about my birthday is that the birds are always back and they are singing.”
For the first time that day I realized the birds were back and they were filling the morning with song. They had been gone for months and they had gone to the trouble of traveling all the way back and arranging an early morning serenade and I had not even bothered to stop and listen to the concert. I had not yet once stopped and thanked the Creator for the return of the birds. I was as dull as a rock that morning to joy. The world was alive to me but I was dead to the world.
When Holly made her little off-hand comment I stood still to listen and my eyes filled with tears. I taught my daughter to be alive to wonder and now she was reminding me of the lesson I had forgotten. If you train your children to be joyful they will remind you when you are missing the music of the birdsongs in spring.
It’s early in March and where we live we are bracing for winter to throw its last few punches. We my be a little premature but we are already longing for the warm sunshine and colorful flowers of spring. We are looking forward to long walks on sunny evenings and bird songs in the morning.
March 5, 2007