Watering the birds is the most spiritual thing I do in a day. More than reading my Bible, prayer, or even going to church—it’s the birds. Let me explain.
It started eleven years ago when I put a feeder up. I’ve always loved watching birds come and go in my yard and I thought it would be fun to attract more. Before I knew it, I had a punch card at the feed store.
For about five years I did this until the small birds at my feeder started getting picked off by larger birds. The massive elm trees in the corner of my yard proved to be great cover for the hawks who would swoop in to get a chick-a-dee waiting it’s turn to eat. I’d inadvertently set up a feeding trough and I couldn’t handle this.
When I was telling a friend, who lives in the country about it she said, “Oh Kären there’s plenty of food for the birds in your yard, what they need is water.”
Water? City girl I am I’d never thought about the importance of water for the birds. So, I found a pot saucer in my garage and set it out front, away from the elm trees. In a matter of hours, the birds discovered it and had a pool party.
This fall when we had an early freeze, I missed the warning and the water in the saucer froze cracking it to bits. This would not do. I quickly found another container, this one being about five inches deep. The birds graduated from kiddie pool to big kid pool and they love it. I walk by my front step and see splash marks from the robins taking a dip.
This simple act of watering has reaped a great reward in my life. Each time I do it I’m reminded of the verse in the Bible about birds of the air and how they don’t sow, reap, or store and yet they are fed. Jesus is talking about worry and how it doesn’t add a day to your life. Jesus paints this word picture to illustrate that just like I provide what the birds need, He will provide what I need. It’s a simple message that’s easily forgotten, but after a recent spill at the bird bath God has pressed it deeper into my subconscious.
It was a Wednesday and I’d gone out to fill the dish and water the flowers. I’ve done this a bajillion times. It’s not risky but this morning I didn’t have the hose nozzle on tightly enough and water was streaming down onto my foot. It was cold so instinctively I stepped backward to get out of the water. With that single step I hit the solar light behind me and lost my balance. Before I knew it, I was falling backward—straight back with no way to catch myself and this was going to be bad.
Time slowed down. My senses went into overdrive which is when I felt something firmly push on my left hip and move me to the right. I felt it like I would feel it if a stranger put their hand on my hip. This nudge changed my trajectory causing the side of my head and shoulder to catch my fall. My neck whiplashed back and I saw gold stars before pitch black. Not long, maybe twenty seconds, my neighbor Kelly’s house came back into view. I woke up wedged between the pot and the step and whispered, “Oh my God,” several times.
OMG is right. If I’d fallen straight back, I would have broken my neck and most likely cracked my skull open. There was no good place to fall but that shift to the right gave me a chance of walking away from this which I did. I was shaking, scraped and bruised BUT alive.
Later in the morning I told my friend Sandy about it saying, “I know I felt the hand of God move me. You can’t say that to most people but I know.” As a way of affirming her belief that something like this can happen, she told me her story about God moving her out of harm’s way on a motorcycle ride. In that moment where she thought she might die God firmly told her, “Not today.”
As the words came out of her mouth, I got the chills when I realized that God had said the same to me—not audibly but to the ears of my heart. The wave of reassurance this brought me rubbed out some of the ache my bruised body felt. As much as I know I shouldn’t—I worry about my life ending prematurely because I have people who need my help, especially my Mom. In the last 16 months of pandemic life this worry has only grown more intense. I find myself routinely saying, “Nothing can happen to me” as if God doesn’t know my life needs protecting.
After Sandy and I said our goodbyes, I headed to my car finding a dime right below the door. It prompted me to wonder how many other times God has nudged me out of harms ways that I’m blissfully unaware of. Probably a lot, and maybe that’s why I needed a good smack to the head to remind me that I’m no different than the birds. If there’s something I need, which includes protection, God will provide it. To let the enemy, dominate the conversation in my head and fill me with worry is silly. Today is not the day, and tomorrow probably isn’t either.