A Lesson From The Birds

Have you been to a restaurant and observed people at the tables around you? 

I do. 

There are often groups at nearby tables. It can even happen when there are just two at the table. Often, there are just two people at the table. Men, Women. 

Invariably, as I listen, I find that one person is hogging the air space. Talking nonstop, as if the person who gets the most words out, wins. Yak, yak, yak, yak, yak. I am not sure when they allow for air to get into their lungs to breathe. 

It isn’t so much a conversation, as it is a monologue. 

I thought about that, this morning, before I got out of bed. 

When Winston and I came outside, I sat in a chairm and listened to the birds. 

From one side of the trees, a bird sang what could have been a hymn. It was soft and gentle. From the other side, a bird squawked loudly and incessantly. That bird didn’t insisted on monopolizing the conversation. 

Just like humans.

The thing about when you talk, rarely do you listen. Try it. It is difficult to do. 

I have heard it said from others, and I have said it myself … that I talk to God. 

Talking to God is good. He has big ears. He can handle it. 

But with God, as with humans, the people whom we love, and people we just meet, if we are talking, we aren’t listening. And in my mind, both God and people, want us to listen. 

God knows. He knows of our concerns, our trials, our insecurities, our problems. He knows our thoughts, (which makes me wince). 

A great prayer doesn’t have to be long, with great punctuation, windy. It can be as simple as “Thank you,” with a long pause after it. 

Thank you, then pipe down and listen. Listen as God talks to you. He may not use a baritone voice, one where yours say to yourself, aha, that is God speaking. 

God isn’t always that obvious. He has created lots of ways to talk to us. I have had God talk to me through people, from a person who shows up at the right time, from a car accident that saved my life. God has spoken to me through a old black man, who appeared at our door after the death of my mother. 

God answers through music and tears and hugs and breezes and rays of sunlight, the smell of rain. 

He even talks to us … teaches us lessons, through birds. He tells us that we don’t need to be the loudest, talk the most, be the most obvious. No matter our volume, we are all equal in the eyes of God. 

It isn’t so much about God hearing us, and our prayers, as it is about us, listening to God. 

Shhhhh. I am going to open my heart and listen to the birds. I think God is talking. 


Prayer for today.

Dear Lord,

Thank you. Please open my ears and shut my mouth. Let me open my heart to the wonderment and goodness of life, to focus on my blessings instead of my concerns. 

Thank you for the birdsongs that are nature’s sermons. Thank you for the ability to change, to listen to others, and to be silent. 

Thank you for Amazing Grace, and walking through this life beside me. 

I pray for your guidance to make this world, my life, and the lives of people I love, and meet, better. Through acts of kindness, listening, extending a helping hand, and seeking out people who are lonely, sick, heartbroken, or in need, may I honor you. 

May you make me an instrument of your love. 


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