“Say I am a bird!”
My husband’s eyes fight the urge to roll back into his head. Instead, he gives me a sheepish grin and shakes his head (assuming I’ve just been in the sun too long). I make this simple request EVERY. SINGLE. TIME (that we are on the beach). And every single time he refuses to tell me I am a bird.
I mean I am not asking for much people! You don’t even have to believe it; can’t you just say it?!
Ladies, do you know what I am talking about? Of course you do! Noah and Allie? The Notebook?
Ahh, The Notebook.
I hear the waves crashing as they throw themselves against the massive rocks. I can almost taste the sea-salt on my lips. The ocean and the sky – a canvas painted in hues of blue and grey (like finding a vintage picture in the attic). It had that warm feeling of life and ages past. The clouds were overcast and the seagulls were out to play with the giddy couple. A carefree woman flapping her wings like a bird, and out of the overflow of her heart she pleads with her friend to say she is a bird!
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird!” says Noah to the girl of his dreams. Love taking flight. Aren’t they are adorably naïve? Bless it.
As a woman, I know I have the tendency to get all delusional about love. I often compare our life to the sparkly lights of Hollywood and begin to see things through rose-colored glasses. I do realize that once Noah and Allie get past this “Young Love” stage, as Melanie Shankle coined the phrase, Allie will be annoyed with even the way Noah chews his food. His cuteness will turn to repulsion and she will have to learn to love him through all of his idiosyncrasies. Then one day when Allie becomes a mom she will no longer have the energy to run around on the beach wearing a hip-retro-bikini, and she will certainly be too exhausted to “play” under the covers.
Since Jamus won’t tell me I’m a bird, I ask my covered-in-sand, toothless, six year old to tell me I’m a bird.
He looks up at me, with eyes blue like the ocean, and says, “Mommy, that is so crazy! You are not a bird. You are a MOMMY!”
I look down and my feet are buried under the sand. My son is right. No, I can’t fly. And yes, I have limitations, otherwise known as gravity. Do you feel restricted by your limitations?
Do you ever feel weighted down by your role as a woman? The Mom? The single girl? The Wife?
Weighted down by obligations, deadlines, socks that need to be matched, and mouths that must be fed.
Weighted down by insecurities, shame, guilt, fear, and doubt…sin?
Then you get that phone call that sucker punches you in the gut and you have to sit down. The phone where your mother calls and tells you she has cancer. This phone call slaps you with a big reality check-life is fragile.
Then you are weighted down with waiting, wondering, and worry.
Maybe you are a bird. But if so, you’re nothing more than a bird in a cage.
“Will somebody say I am a bird? Give me wings to fly!”
Free to fly, free to soar above what is weighing us down.
Jesus has something to say about birds.
“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)
That is a rhetorical question, by the way. Yes, you are more valuable than the birds. If God graciously feeds the birds, then He will most certainly feed you. After all, you are His precious child, uniquely made in His image. Open your mouth and receive the grace He has for your today.
Spread your wings and fly to the foot of the cross, where you can feel the Father’s love and experience the truth that Jesus’ “yoke is easy, and His burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
Life is hard, but His burden is light. We are not called to soar over trials but grace gives us wings to soar through them. Wings of grace give us the ability to confidently fly through the hardships of this life, not hopelessly fly far away from them.
Look up! “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isiah 40:31).
Look at His arms spread wide against splintered wood and feel the weight of His love for you! Perfection bends low and kisses horrid messes. When we feel the weight of His glory through the Word of God, we are free to soar. Open wide your hearts and let Him give you more!
Let Him give you grace for the now. Grace for the heavy. Grace for the deadlines. Grace before me. Grace beside me. Grace beneath me and all around me. Grace.
Yes, we need to lose it. We need to lose control and exclaim from the top of our lungs, “I am a bird!” Flap your wings around and feel the weight lifted.
You are soaring on wings of redemption. What is more glorious than this? You were weighted down with sin. You were hopeless, ashamed, and an enemy of God (Rom. 5:10). Yet now in Christ, you are pursued, justified, sanctified, and redeemed.
Perhaps you remember that scene in Forrest Gump when as a little girl, Jenny prayed while hiding from an abusive father, “Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far, far, far away.” In Christ, we need not fear and run far from God. Jesus Himself took our sins upon His arms, and He carried them far, far away – never to be remembered again. Here and only here, is there freedom to fly.
While I am walking on beaches hoping for more and longing to feel free, I call my friend Tara hours away and tell her of my sill- childish-request and we laugh hard because we get it….
“You are a bird! “She says laughing.
“ If you are a bird, I am a bird.”
We are so much more! Remind your friends today of freedom that is found in Christ and watch their souls take flight!