Monday, April 27, 2015

when you just want to be chosen

I first heard Ann Voskamp say it -
     all is grace
and I know it to be true.

This weekend the baby wrens hatched in the corner of our kitchen window like some crazy, extravagant gift wrapped up just for us.  Who gets front row seats to a real life nature show while scrubbing dishes?  Seriously.
We feel chosen.
We are chosen.
Everybody wants to be chosen, right?

I don't quite know how to explain how much I treasure this little family moving in alongside of us.  The moving truck had barely pulled away when we first noticed them scouting out locations for their own new home.

For weeks we watched them building
and building
and building.
We thought if they added one more piece of moss the whole thing might come toppling onto the cement floor.  But they knew what they were doing.  We watched them both - mother and father - working together, flitting here and there.  They worked and worked and then one day it stopped.  We peeked through the glass as slowly and quietly as we possibly could and there she was - mama bird snuggled in her spot - still and quiet but with alert eyes.

Each morning I would see her go out and then come back.  My coffee maker sits just inches away from her nest on the other side of the wall so I would go about my morning ritual there next to her.
Both of us falling into the rhythm of motherhood for that day.
Occasionally I would hear chirping but otherwise she was a quiet, undisturbing neighbor.

Then one morning I heard something different.
For the first time there was a song coming from the nest.  Not the short, choppy chirps, but a dancing chain of notes.  As I approached the kitchen I saw that there were two of them.  The father had returned.
And he was singing.

I wondered why the morning ritual had changed - why all the fuss?  Then the mother returned with an inchworm in her mouth and I heard the tiny chorus of new life coming from deep down in the leaves and straw.  Well, of course.  Why else would a daddy be singing such a sweet song?  His babies had arrived.
We post pictures of little fingers and toes on Facebook and send out tweets from the hospital.  They sing a song and collect inchworms.  Whenever new life comes to your family, it demands to be celebrated.  That we would be part of their party seemed like some silly sacred privilege.

Experiences like those are not lost on me.  There is a strong sense that God is drawing us into secret places of His creation just as he is drawing us into secret places of himself - reminding us that there is so much more of Him left to discover and experience.  I wish I had a bird song I could sing to share my joy over it all.  Right in the middle of the grueling stress of moving we were welcomed into the simple story of that little bird family.

This access to the sacred spaces,
this drawing us in,
this evidence of beauty and life that extends beyond what we once knew...
all is grace.

It's wave after wave of relentless love and loveliness washing over you in the middle of a world that can leave you feeling baked in the hot, hard sun.  My small frail life could never merit such favor.
And so I feel chosen.
To witness baby birds entering this world.
To have seas of buds and blooms outside every window.
To taste fresh cut greens and ripe soft berries.
To have little people curled up on my lap each morning.
To have strong arms wrapped around me at night.
I will never stop counting them - and counting on them.
The daily graces we are given.
Everybody wants to be chosen.  The good news is - you are.
The evidence is all around us
once we peel back the layers of
and disappointment that keep our eyes from seeing the truth.

Each day God has a sufficient measure of grace set aside to be poured out just for you.  Sometimes it comes in bird song on a sunny spring day and other times it comes in the arms of a friend on the darkest day of your life.  Sometimes it even comes in painful suffering that eventually will lead to untold blessings.  In the celebration and the suffering, in life and in death, God's grace keeps coming.  Don't miss it.

All is grace.

And it's all for you, chosen one, so that you might be for Him.