Sunday, July 27, 2008

Life comes calling

Yesterday and today I was goaded out of bed by a young male cardinal, who excitedly lights in the river birch tree outside my second story window and then flies against the window (gently, with wings fluttering awkwardly) and back to the tree branch, over and over again, 8 to 10 times. He looks into the room, turning his head from side to side, his black questioning eye probing the quiet coolness. After several repeats of his fly-against-the-window technique, he grabs the wire mesh of the window screen with his tiny claws and hangs there, suspended on the window. His call is congenial--his voice has a quieter, more collegial tone. He seems to be speaking directly to me--or to some object or other bird he's looking for--calling this being out to do something, notice, live. His action are very intentional and directed, but I don't know what expression is fueling them. Or maybe I do, but I don't--quite--believe I do.

I do know this. It's an awesome and wonderful gift, something that feels like a sacred honor, to be invited into the day by a cardinal who has seemingly discovered something worth noticing in me. Of course, I'm not sure he's really looking for me specifically. And I don't understand his language. And although I sense excitement and intentionality, these could be my own descriptors of emotion and motivation that don't have anything to do with what's going on inside him.

But he shows up, he makes the effort, he is saying something and doing something and it appears to have some connection to me, somehow. I realize how much this gift of the cardinal's presence is to me a snapshot of the gift of the presence of God. I feel God there, noticing and caring, drawing me beyond myself; but sometimes I don't understand the language, I'm fuzzy about the expectation, and I'm not really sure God meant me at all but is just loving and speaking and acting with indescriminate Love.

But, still, not knowing the meaning of the experience doesn't keep me from raising my hand from beneath the soft layers of warm, weighty covers, waving at the cardinal hanging on the screen, saying, "Good morning! Here I am! I see you!" and wondering what goodness this miraculous promise portends for this day.

May your Love awaken in you today a breathless sense of transcending mystery and the reassuring comfort that your deeper Life will come looking for you if you tarry under the covers too long.

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