I remember as a young adult, squinting long and hard at the faint gold lettering of a poem, scrolled on a small ceramic plaque, that hung on the wall of my best friend’s kitchen.
It had been a long since forgotten Valentines’gift, given by a caring friend of the family that was lovingly displayed there for many years. Quietly it sat, patiently waiting for the undivided attention of someone, anyone, that would just stop for a moment.
Curiously enough, it always seemed to hang there, maddeningly off- centered, as if it knew “you” would be the one to insist on straightening it, and have no other choice, but to read its’ intended message.
One morning, after spending the night at my friend’s house, I stood wearily over the coffee pot, waiting for the last of the brewing process to finish. Suddenly, I could take it no longer. I marched right over, and with both hands, angled and re-angled the frame until it was perfectly centered. And…as fate would have it, I, like the others who had gone before me, found myself strangely drawn to the rhythmic pros and began silently mouthing the words, not even aware of the lasting impact that they would have on my heart.
The poem was titled, “Overheard in an Orchard” by Elizabeth Cheney and it went something like this:
Said the robin to the sparrow,
"I would really like to know
Why those anxious human beings
rush around and worry so."
Said the sparrow to the robin,
"Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
such as cares for you and me."
Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather (no pun intended). But I just fell in love with that little poem! I was so enamored by the loving care of this Heavenly Father, described so “matter of factly” by my feathered friends!
Who could have thought that by ease dropping on a conversation between two little birds in an orchard, that a lasting impression would be forged in my mind. A mind (who at that time) was very worldly and ambitious! To the point that nothing or no one was about to keep me from living MY LIFE…MY WAY…and on MY TERMS!
I realize now that God used that little poem as a small seed, a seed that He planted deep within the soil of my heart. A seed that held the truth about the loving, caring nature of the God of the Universe, who not only created me, but created the wonderful world that I was so “set” on conquering!.
That small sprout would eventually grow into a mighty oak tree of trust and reliance that would unconsciously shade me throughout the turbulent years that were to follow.
Often, I found myself returning to that poem. And the words I read would quietly reassure me of God’s unchanging faithfulness and tender love for me. And then one day it happened, broken completely by life’s circumstances… I willingly surrendered into the loving arms of that same Heavenly Father who knew so well how to take care of His own.
From that point on, I was changed forever. I was no longer, trying to wing it alone in my frantic-driven world of self-reliance. I had instead discovered the truth of what the little robin and sparrow had been speaking of. That our Father, who neither slumbers nor sleeps, watches over his creation with eyes of compassion, and arms outstretched, always gathering to Himself, even the one…who sometimes goes a stray.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:26).