Cardinals

Hey there!   I just sat down here to write about something else, but I looked out and saw a pair of cardinals on my deck.  So, it got me to thinking…   How is everybody?   Hope all is well with all y’all.   Grab a glass of something, and find a comfy spot and take a load off for a few minutes.  You’ve been working hard all morning, right?  As I write this it’s Saturday morning.  Seems like I work harder most weekends than I ever did at the office!  Let’s talk about Cardinals.

So many things going through my mind as I watch them flitting around my deck, and actually I think there are four of them out there right now, two pairs.  For some reason, they often fly into the glass patio door or stand on the deck and peck at it.  I suppose they see their reflection and are trying to chase away the intruder.  I haven’t yet figured out how to keep them from doing that.  I don’t want anyone to get hurt!

We had a cloudburst of rain here just a bit ago.   Only one cloud in the sky, but it rained fairly hard for about 20 minutes.  Now the sun is back out and it’s getting pretty steamy.  I guess the birds just wanted to soak up a little sun.  Having just come through the cloudburst, they were on the deck, singing their little hearts out with a cheerful melody.  I want to be like that – singing God’s praises no matter what has just happened in my life.  I want to always be cheerful, trusting Him, knowing that joy is being connected with Him and not dependent on temporary sunshine or rain in my life.

Then I noticed the colors.  The males are bright, red and flashy, you can’t miss them.  But the females are what drew my attention this morning.  They are subdued, brownish, boring colors.  And yet…  there are streaks of the red going through them like little flashes of brilliance in their colors.   I think sometimes we are like that.   Our lives may seem mundane, boring, stuck in a rut, colorless.   But if we look deeper, we can see the flashes of joy, the streaks of love, the spots of celebration that run through our lives.  Like the title of this blog – threads of faith running through the patchwork of our lives.  Think a minute.  Where did you get an unexpected smile this week?  When did someone show love that warmed your heart and soul?  Where did you see God’s love for you?  What things did you get to celebrate this week – birthday?  Anniversary?  A move in housing or a job?  How about just celebrating at the last church service you attended?

I’ve never had a bird feeder at my house.  In my opinion, they are expensive and very messy.  I simply don’t want to deal with all that.  But my former neighbor, Judy, had several feeders.  And the birds flocked to her deck – finches, jays, blackbirds, hummers, robins, sparrows, wrens, you name it.  Even an occasional bat was seen in the vicinity- not to mention the raccoons!  They looked to her for food, or at least easy food.  We lost Judy last February, and everyone who knew her misses her profoundly.   Even the birds, I suspect.  But you know what?  I don’t notice any fewer birds.  I don’t see any skinny ones, either.  The Lord is feeding them, as He always has and always will.  The Gospel writer records Jesus saying  that our Heavenly Father feeds the birds and clothes the flowers of the field.  Jesus goes on to ask if God will not care all the more for us?  (Matthew 6:24-26)

I’ve seen some pretty amazing provision in my lifetime, both in my own life and in the lives of others.  Money sometimes seems to simply fall from the sky.  Sometimes it’s food, sometimes it’s furniture or appliances.  I’ve seen several cars seem to come out of nowhere when someone needed transportation.  Having seen God’s hand so evidently at work can give me hope for my future, or someone else’s future.  He loves us, He cares, and He’s willing to show us that love in tangible ways if we need something.  He truly supplies all our needs!  (Not our extravagant wants, mind you.  But He does often go above and beyond our basic needs.)

I want to be like a cardinal today.  I want to feed at God’s feeder, sing with a thankful heart of praise to Him, and trust that He loves me deeply and personally, and has it all under control.

How about you?  Do you need to know He cares for you?  Find a pastor or a priest.  They can show you many ways He’s there for you.

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