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Do you know why St. Therese of Lisieux became known as “The Little Flower”? Because she never saw herself as worthy. No, in God’s garden, she argued, she wasn’t a sweet-scented rose or spotless lily… just an insignificant bloom, hardly noticeable. This was a woman who loved God so fervently, it puts the rest of us to shame. So I ask, what the heck kind of flower does that make me?

Or to put it in avian terms…what kind of bird? Does salvation rest in trying to be eagle when one is actually a wren? Or, just maybe, might it lie in being utterly true to who and what you are…whether you soar like a falcon or waddle like a doomed dodo? In the end, I suspect God loves us all, great and small, roses and sweet peas, hawks and canaries.

God sows seed; we bend our necks, peck.
Wren and peacock, sparrow and falcon,
we feed, fight for crumbs, carry morsels
home to nests heavy with fledglings.
Some nests are mud. Others shine
with tinsel and the feathers of other birds.
When comes the time to raise us, send us soaring
into skies, will even the ostrich take with grace
to unknown air? In that moment of miracle, all
can rise, if the seed you eat is deep belief.
Wide-winged, wondrous, the swan will ascend.
The wren, too, shall be lifted, heart thudding,
wing a-quiver, higher even than hope can go.

It is the little things that mean a lot.  I thought of this when I read Ruth’s crowded house and sharing space with wildlife.  I live in Missouri and it is warming up enough that humming birds are moving back into our area.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with these tiny little birds, they do not have tiny personalities.  My father-in-law generally has about 10 humming birds that come to his deck to feed.  As they try to bully each other away from the feeder, you hear a cacophony of humming bird squeaks.  And the birds at my grandmother’s in West Texas would come up to the porch when the feeder was empty.  Step outside and a bird would hover beside your face.  “Hey!  Hey, you!  Fill ‘er up.”

To put it mildly, I love humming birds.  So I’ve got one feeder out front and another out back but yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that I had yet to see any.  I had my back to the window.  “There’s a bird on the feeder now.”  I thought my husband was being funny, but I turned and there it was.

No one dared to leave the house until the tiny bird had eaten its fill.  Soon my sage will be in full bloom and the humming birds will have a feast.

Growing blossoms that feed them and mixing up their special sugar water helps me feel connected to God’s creation.  I may not be able to calm the seas, but I can feed a handful of tiny birds.




Have a Mary Little Christmas

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