Today I am noticing birds. It is mid January and spring is in the air. The sparrows are chirping in the hedgerows, the starlings are searching for food under the leaves: the doves flit from branch to branch, and the little chaffinches chase away any intruders from the bird table. Blackbirds are making an appearance from their winter hideaways. The time for singing of birds has come, early!
The earth is causing the first flowers to spring up. I saw snowdrops today. There are a sure sign for me of brighter days coming. I bought the first bunch of daffodils this week. I am reminded of the scripture
“Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.” from the Song of Solomon 2:12 NIV.
Later in the morning I saw other birds. Brendan and I went for a walk along the promenade in Newcastle. The tide was high, the sea calm, with waves gently lapping on the rocks. A few days ago the waves were crashing, splashing, and cascading onto the promenade, leaving sea weed and sand. There was power in those waves.
I looked closer at an area of beach covered in pebbles. There was a little flock of Dunlins. Their white bellies and grey backs enabled them to be camouflaged among the stones. They were still and silent in unison, all facing the same direction. The moment reminded me when people would be silent out of respect for someone important. It seemed they were worshipping. It was a holy moment.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and though its waters roar and foam. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:1-3, 10 NIV)
It was marvellous to look at the flock of birds. Can we learn from these little birds and be in unity? Sometimes one can be quiet for a moment, but for a group of people to stand in quietness without being told to is unusual. Our world is full of noise, talking, traffic, radio, TV, music and machines. Perhaps we can try with our friends or family to be quiet and still for ten minutes like the Dunlins. Be still and know that I am God.
Creation is is declaring the Glory of God as the waves crash and the little birds together stand still, hidden among the stones.