Monday, November 18, 2019

Nightingale Songs

Our Father in heaven likes songs so much that He filled the earth with birds. Each one has its own special song to sing. When the sun peeks its head up each morn, they all sing together to make a chorus of beautiful music.

The cardinals sing a song of joy:
“Sunny day! Come and play. Cheer! Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!”

The wren sings a song of love:
“Ooh la la! My Cherie, won’t you come and be my bride?”

The blue jays sing a song of warning:
“Look out! A person! A dog! Beware! Beware!”

The chickadees can hardly sing for chortling:
“Tee hee! Tee hee! Giggledy ha, ha, ha, ha!”

The mockingbirds sing songs of echo:
“Cheer! Cheer! Be my bride! Beware! Beware! Teehee! Tee hee! Ha ha ha!”

They sing, and they sing,
Songs of cheer and love and warning.
But when the sun ducks its head below the western hills
And the winking moon awakes in the east,
The daybirds cease their melodies.
The cardinals sing their young a lullaby.
The wren stops his wooing and tucks himself into his empty flower pot.
The blue jays let the owls take their turn as sentry:
“Whoo! Whoo! Whooo goes there?”

The darkness wraps the land like a blanket,
And the nightingale takes up her song.

She sings a song of darkness.
She sings a song of loneliness.

She sings, “O God my Maker!
O Lord! O heavenly Father!”

She asks, “How long?
How long will the dark night last?
How long until the sunshine of Your face returns?
How long must I sing this lonely tune?
How long?
How long?”

She cries, “Why?
Why did the sparrow fall today?
Why did the bobcat slash?
Why did You let that hailstone strike?

All the tears her eyes can’t cry pour forth from her throat.
At last, Venus the morning star gleams in the east.

The nightingale asks, “Maker God,
Send back Your light.
Send out Your truth.
Show us Your goodness.
Shine with Your grace.”

The first bluing of the sky begins to lighten.
Morning draws near.

The nightingale breathes out the last of her melody,
“Good night.
Good morning.
Let me rest now in peace, for You are near.
The darkness will lift.
The sun does come again.”

The sun stretches sleepy arms above the eastern trees.
The cardinals wake and sing their song of cheer.
The wren returns to his wooing.
The blue jays take up their watch again.
The chickadees laugh.
The mockingbirds mimic.
The owls tuck heads under wings and fall asleep.
The nightingale, her song drained dry,
Rests in God her Maker till darkness falls again.

Sun shines.
God smiles over all the many songs He hears,
But He draws closer than close to the nightingale.
He shelters her under His wing, close to His heart.
He treasures her brokenhearted song
And comforts her sorrow
With Himself.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Autumn Hope

The trees are weeping
Great arid tears
Of scarlet, gold, and flame—
Mourning winter’s onset
And doubting spring will come again.

Autumns sings in a minor key,
bagpipes droning the slave trader's hymn.
Loss, surrender, relinquishment thrum
beneath the glory of the turning leaves,
the crisp cool air,
the gentler light.

Even as tree limbs release
their grip on summer's glory
and exhalations of wind carry it
down, down, down to the earth,
farmers gather in their harvests,
the golden glory-fruit of so many seeds of hope
buried in soil nourished
by the weeping of the trees.

"I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop" (John 12:24, HCSB).