Monday, February 25, 2008


On Saturday morning, the boys and I were suddenly alarmed to hear skittering in our stovepipe. Our eyes widened as we realized we'd 'caught' a bird. The poor thing made several futile attempts to fly back up the stovepipe, but eventually, he accepted his fate and rested on the damper for a few hours.

Around lunchtime, I finally saw a cloud of ash poof out the stove vents, and I knew the little bird had made it into the main stove cavity. With the boys hovering nearby, and myself cowering under a blanket on the couch, Jeff slowly opened the doors, hoping to catch the bird at the outset. No dice. The poor little thing flew past Jeff's hands and made a beeline - SMACK - for our picture window.

Jeff almost caught him while he recovered from THAT disaster, but at the last second he slipped away again and flew - SMACK - into our sliding glass door.

Again, Jeff almost snatched him up as he sat wondering why in the world he couldn't fly through plate glass. But just as Jeff reached out to grasp him, he fluttered away down the hall, where Jeff finally did catch him as he hovered aimlessly back in a dark corner.

Of course we had to photograph this sooty fellow before letting him go.

Unsure of how to proceed after being freed from his carcinogenic crypt, he sat dazed on our deck railing for several moments.

Finally, he fluttered over to a nearby tree, and thence to the wild blue yonder. I'm sure he is now busily posting about the experience on his birdie blog.

When I told my friend Rebecca what happened, she said, "Is this going on your blog?"

I said, "I think so. That's why I took the pictures."

She said, "I'm curious to see what kind of theological parallel you draw from THAT incident."

Well, Rebecca, I've got one!

It's all about when someone ruins their own life, but they try to cling to their strength for a while, and then they finally surrender and bottom out (poof!) and then God releases them from their prison, but they typically go off half-cocked right at first and smack into a picture window, and then they don't learn, so they smack into a bigger picture window, and then they find themselves in a wasteland of darkness, and then God catches them and calms them and wipes the soot off their body, and then He lets them go, and with holy temerity, they venture first to the nearby deck railing, then to a tree farther out, and finally they soar into the wild blue yonder of God's grace, free as a...bird.

But I'll spare you the analogy. Just this once.