On my walk this morning it was dark and foggy. Recent weeks have battered me to a point of exhaustion and sadness, so I started walking with a desire to connect with God in a new way. I am desperate these days to hear from God, to see his face, but to be honest most of the time I vacillate between lethargic boredom and compulsive escape and grasping. I long for consistent passion, where I move intentionally into life and relationships with hope and purpose born out of what Dallas Willard calls an “experience based confidence in the love of God.” Most of the time I just stare at the walls and eat another twinkie. Lord, have mercy.
As I walked through the dense mist, I could hear birds singing above and beyond me. At first it seemed odd. I couldn’t see any birds, only 10-20 feet around and above me. The contrast I was sensing was very stark – though it was very dark and misty where I was, it was if the birdsong was above and untouched by the fog. It cut through it and reminded me that though I walk through the “dark valley of the shadow of death,” there remains a reason to sing, a reason that is “alien” to me, up and above me.
The birds ministered to me this morning as I walked through the fog. The Son will eventually cut through the fog; as I wait, he meets me in the midst of the soupy confusion with his mercy and grace. That’s what the birds were singing about, and I can only hope that one day I will join them with an even greater gusto. Thanks, Jesus, for meeting with me in the fog, and sending your birds as messengers of grace.