|This week we have two reflections, from Sandra Friedrich in Conwy and Judy Williams in Ty’n y Groes. Both have been inspired by, and found hope in, our ‘feathered friends’. |
Last Monday our late son, Chris, would have celebrated his 40th Birthday. Whilst wondering what to do on a difficult day, “Consider the birds” came to mind. So I did! I just sat on our sofa and watched our dear little sparrows and blue tits busy at the feeder outside the lounge window.
They were eating and chirping and flitting as wee birds do: no thought of death or losing someone you love; no worrying about what’s next or how they will get the next meal or make it through the next hour; no wishing they were bigger or smaller or faster or smarter or a different colour or kind.
It seems that our fellow feathered creatures have greater, simpler trust in our loving Creator than we ‘advanced’ humans do. Maybe being a ‘birdbrain’ isn’t all bad!
Though these are difficult times for many of us, for all kinds of reasons, our loving Father assures us through Jesus that we need not fear as we are of more value to him than many sparrows.
“Edrychwch ar adar yr awyr: nid ydynt yn hau nac yn medi nac yn casglu i ysguboriau, ac eto y mae eich Tad nefol yn eu bwydo. Onid ydych chwi yn llawer mwy gwerthfawr na hwy?”
“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Mathew / Matthew 6:26
For so many people the word ‘peace’ is farthest from their minds at the moment. Apart from the ongoing physical threat of the virus, one of the most disturbing effects of the Pandemic has been on mental health. Many are anxious and fearful, for health. loved ones and livelihoods.
The author of the little story below is unknown. I find it a great comfort in times of trouble like these. It reminds me that Jesus and his peace are with us in the midst of trouble, just as he promised:
“Yr wyf wedi dweud hyn wrthych er mwyn i chwi, ynof fi, gael tangnefedd. Yn y byd fe gewch orthrymder, ond codwch eich calon, yr wyf fi wedi gorchfygu’r byd.”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Ioan /John 16:33
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest in perfect peace.
The king chose the second picture. ‘Because,’ explained the king, ‘peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.’
Peace is not the absence of trouble but the fact that Jesus is there in the midst of it with each of us – feeling what we are feeling, suffering what we are suffering.