14 July 2008

Letter to a Mother Bird

Barren nest photo by Bev Wauer

Dear Mother Bird,

I'm sorry that I broke your egg. I didn't mean to do it.
Climbing up to see it's safe,
And now, you know, I rue it.
I really think it fascinating- God's great artistry
Masterpieces in small twig bundles
Nestled in a tree.

I know I disobeyed my mom. She's told me this before.
"Holding bird eggs in your hand is not what they are for."
Yes, I know that I was wrong.
And I would have asked permission.
But you were not in bush or tree.
Least ways, not that I could see.
And Mommy wasn't standing there to make sure I held true.
No little sister hanging 'round to make sure that she knew.
Left on my own, I made a choice, and no one had to know.
"It's a rule for those inept, as I'm about to show."

I worried maybe you had gone and flown away for good.
And left that tempting bright blue egg in the tree branch where I stood.
It was pretty, it was dainty, and the breeze began to blow
I fretted that your nest might fall
And, since I am in-the-know

And a self-described authority on what is good for me
I helped myself, and helped you too
Until I bumped my knee
On that smallest little branch there- right in the shady crook
I promise, it was accidental, that my egg-handling hand so shook

I dropped your unborn baby right there at the tree's base
And I cried and cried and whimpered to imagine your sweet face
Disappointed, downcast, crestfallen
Chirping me my shame
How could I be so selfish as to play this dangerous game?

I saw, I took, I held
I carried it around
I was in complete control
I thought-
But then I found
I could not control the gravity
of earth or action wrong
And now, I'm sad that no one
Will ever hear your baby prophet's song.

You long to gather up your chicks
To hold them close and safe
To give them comfort- Presence,
Words of life, and grace.
Your home is now left desolate
Abandoned, as it were.
There's no one home to break the morn
With messages on the dew.

I can't undo what I have wrought
That tears my heart in two
Irreparable, the sin, that I've committed against you.
Resuscitation, Elmer's glue, a bit of tape and twine
It doesn't fix the life that's gone
And the blame is squarely mine.

What can I do to make it right?
To bring life back from the dead?
Mom and I stand here looking down
And I wonder in my head.
If maybe she had warned me, and told me to obey
Because she loves and cares for me, and cares about you too.
And she understands there is no way
To undo history.

Not with human skill, at least.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate."

He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove the disgrace of his people
from all the earth.
The LORD has spoken.

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Blogger Abby said...

extremely sad story, but extremeley good parallel.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous heather said...

love the commentary here

10:08 AM  
Blogger Kelley said...

Was this the same day she-who-shall-not-be-named gave her mother a coronary and earned jail time all day? I feel like my kids should somehow share the blame...maybe they got yours all riled up, then left them to work out all that excess creativity/energy on unsuspecting mamas (birds and humans). Sad birdy story...insightful parallel. And some say there are no feminine images of God in the Bible...

3:01 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Abby, Heather- Thanks.
As soon as we finished our garden chastisement, I immediately envisioned a certain other Garden Chastisement.

Kel- It was, indeed, she-who-shall-not-be-named, but this was a few weeks ago. Your kids are completely absolved from all riled-uppedness. :)
And I love the nurturing, Mama-love parallels in the Bible, don't you?

3:40 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, broken things. Yes, we rue the moments.

I LOVED your comment over on Seedlings, btw. How deeply you speak!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Kelli said...

isn't it so great how the things that happen in life can always be used as a Bible lesson, and can draw us nearer to God?

10:23 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Hey, it's Kelli with an "I"!
In my book, conversations like this totally count as homeschooling. No books, no pencils, no desks, but quite a lot of learning going on. And things that are going to STICK with us forever.

8:13 AM  

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