Watching the Birds

chickenEarly one morning I was sitting on a balcony overlooking the entry gate at the orphanage in Haiti. While there are many birds in Haiti, I don't often notice them, mostly because the noise of the day, particularly the orphanage, drowns them out. Yet, that morning I heard the birds. I watched them fly from tree to tree. Some came, landing on a power line near me, then off. As they don't wear nametags and all sparrows look alike to me, I cannot say whether it was the same or several sparrows. I am not up on the different types of birds, so I cannot say what they were. All I can say is that I enjoyed their songs and watching them move effortlessly from tree to tree, from wire to pole, from fence to tree, to tree and back again.

I began wondering about them. Do they think about what they are doing? "Hey, I think I will fly over there. Maybe there is a bug to eat." Or, "Kind of boring on this branch, let's try that line." Or, "Look, a line. I haven't landed there in minutes." OK, I hadn't had my coffee yet so give me a break please. What I did note was that the flight of birds has fascinated man for millenia. And I can see why. I reflected on the van ride we took the day before, and the muddy hill we climbed the day or two before. How much easier it would have been to have wings. Then I thought about the wings that had brought me to Haiti. True, it was 20 hours travel but it was over 3000 miles. And much of the time was spent on the ground waiting for planes. Oh, to have my own wings.

Then I looked down. There below was a chicken. There are several chickens at the orphanage, an egg project. It looked health, pecking along, looking for seeds, bugs, and whatever else she could find. There she was, she had wings, but chose to walk. Her wings would not carry her far. Maybe to the top of the fence, maybe. Maybe to a low branch, maybe. But there she was, inside the fence, I assume happy and content. Not dreaming of joining her fellows high in the trees.

So many thoughts came to mind. How we are too often ready to settle for the ground when the sky is available to us. How we think we have limitations when with a little work and vision we could to so much more. I know nothing about bird happiness, but I know what makes me happy. And what makes me nervous. And most importantly, the things that limit me from doing all that I could do. When I am honest with myself, I realize that I don't know all the things that limit me. Those that I know are enough to keep me from soaring over the fence.

God has gifted us, prepared us, and called us to be light and salt. We care for those who can't care for themselves. People have ask me to be part of some awesome things. I have been a part of some awesome things. But I have chicken wings. I acknowledge that if I had faith in myself, and bigger faith in God the sky would be the limit. I seek daily to develop the wings of an eagle. Scripture says that those who trust in Him will have them. But for now, this chicken-winged preacher will keep exercising the wings that I have and try to do more and more for the kingdom. One day I might just mount up on the wings of eagles and not grow weary.