“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach…No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” Deuteronomy 30:11, 14
My husband and I were awakened early this morning by a constant knocking at our bedroom window. Over and over again a robin flew at our window using his feet and beak to knock against the surface of the glass. Outside of this particular window is a very old crabapple tree, and we assumed the robin was claiming this tree as a site to nest and mate. We assumed he was telling the robin reflected in the window that this area was his.
As the sun progressed across the sky, and the window transitioned from a reflection of the world the robin lives in to the world I live in inside my house, I assumed his fight would end. I assumed his purpose would change from claiming territory to moving on and building a place to call his own. It didn’t, however. Six hours after he’d started, he was still swooping in and knocking on our window, and I was growing quite concerned that he would kill himself by over-exertion. So, I opened the window to speak some sense into him.
I suppose many of you are shaking your heads at me now. Maybe you’re saying, “Okay, Lorinda, it’s one thing to rescue young hummingbirds and enjoy them flitting about you with gratitude the rest of the day, but talking with birds you’ve just met? I think you go too far.”
Maybe I do. I once made the acquaintance of a robin that would join me out in the garden each day to sing “Animal Crackers” with me while I gardened. I introduced him to my husband and he introduced me to his mate, and we were all such merry neighbors that summer. Alas, his mate flew into this very same bedroom window and killed herself one day. I felt so sad. I dug a small grave for her and buried her near the tree they favored. He watched from the branches and sang a sad single-note song. This new song lasted quite awhile and made my heart ache. When I walked out to garden weeks later, however, he sang “Animal Crackers” to me again as soon as he saw me. I sang it back and saw him fly to the old tree so I could see him. He had a new mate standing on the branch next to him. He fluffed up quite proud as I congratulated him, then they flew off to the trees across the road from our house. I didn’t see him as much after that, but I have always been quite happy for him that he had found another mate to share his life with, and I think of him quite often for the experience I enjoyed with him.
So, having told you the story of my dear robin friend from quite some years ago, I must tell you more about my new friend because, truthfully, I wondered for a moment this afternoon if this was my friend returned to pay me a visit. I don’t believe it could be, because I’m not sure robins live to be as old as seven or more years, but this little man bobbing at my window and knocking to get my attention certainly has me just as entertained and enraptured. I opened the window and told him to stop knocking so hard, because I was worried he would kill himself. Well, the little fellow flew to a nearby branch and sang to me. It was not “Animal Crackers” mind you, but he certainly has a very nice song of his own.
It is nearly evening now. When I walked away to attend to other activities that need doing, he begins his knocking once more. I have slid the screen over to cover the window he was flying at; this opened up a wider space in the window frame for him to perch in. Even now as I type, he is vigilantly watching me from his perch and every so often tapping at my window as if waiting for my full attention.
My little friend’s timely knocking this morning reminded me of the Scripture verse to misdirected Christians in Revelation 3:19-21, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So, be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
Lately, I have been discouraged, I’ve even shed a few tears, because I expect more — more of myself, more of others, more of situations. I have been grumbling because new circumstances are adding themselves to my schedule, to my list of things that need attention, to the mass of consumers eating away at my precious resources – namely patience, time, and passion. It has, at times, become quite personal as I have blamed others for this happening.
Last night, as I went to bed, I was dwelling on deadlines, schedules, and trying to balance them with what I really wanted to be doing. I woke when my little friend came to call, thought about those verses in Revelation, and I walked through my Bible to James 5:7-9, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” Then I began to reflect on my bad attitude and what I needed to do.
Little robin, as I watch you tap on my window even now, I think of my Lord and repent of my attitude. It is with great eagerness that I renew my patience and wait on Him.
Lord Jesus, Your voice is what I long to hear. Your face I long to see. Your touch I long to feel. But it is the robin You chose to use as your voice for me today. The word truly is very close to me today, and it is in my mouth and in my heart so I can obey it. How happy I am to be reminded of how near You truly are. Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit in me and the living strength and direction You give through your Word. Thank you for your rebuke and your discipline. I love you too! Amen.