As I stepped onto the sodden mulch while checking out the seed in my bird station, I happened to glance at the “full to the brim” bird bath. The feisty north wind had sucked itself back into the leadened sky for a while, so the dark pool of water was calm and still. The stepping stone for my feathered drinking friends was empty, not even one ripple appeared on the reflection-less surface.
My attention was captured, for the moment, and I peered into the depths (3 inches, perhaps) noticing how the dead leathery leaves were brought back to subtleness by the drenching. On the bottom lay scattered tiny rocks, and rotting bird-seed. A water-soaked tendril of ivy draped across the bowl in a graceless fashion, shinny-green in the drab winter’s day, the first day of the New Year. “Hang on ~ here we go again!” I thought.
As I stood staring at the lifeless pool time seemed to undulate around me, and I began to relive the past twelve months: there I was in those highlighted moments, the ones I long always to remember ~ involving family, closeness, love; and the others that I choose now to forget ~ involving family, closeness, and love.
The good times ~ so lifting, so compelling, so special, they led me to give thanks for the abundant blessings graced on me by my Heavenly Father. Those heart glowing, love growing, feelings of God inspired, well-being. Ah, they are the times to savor. I stirred the water with my finger releasing tiny bubbles each filled with longing for those times to be re-lived, as they burst in the air, I thought of the blessings to come, and that satisfied and filled me.
The bad times ~ the frightful experience of having my emotions scrubbed as though with a rusted Brillo pad. The times of total dependence on God’s mercy and strength for my next breath as fear gripped and my will fought for victory. Untidy remembrances surface sluggishly, as though from the bottom of the bird bath bowl. Fading now are memories of the wound in my heart; it needed stitching by holy thread, woven by fingers of grace. Now these thoughts have turned to blessings as God washed me clean of them as even now He is releasing their hold over me.
I vigorously disturbed the water and waited for the calmness to return, and it did; still, there was no reflection of blue sky, of swooping birds, no gentle ripples against the rock, only a smooth span of motionless water. The longer I looked, the flatter the bird-bath scene seemed to become, losing its three-dimensional effect. It lost its hold on me; I was ready to venture on. I thought of Isaiah 34 and verses18 and 19: “Forget what happened long ago! I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in the desert, streams in the thirsty land.”
I shifted the basket in my arms, trod through the wet chips and filled all the feeders in my backyard. My thoughts were calm like a placid pool; I greeted 2013 serenely. In this new year, I have nothing yet to reflect, nothing to cause disturbances; no ripples have formed in my life. I know I will reflect; I will absorb, but on this day, I am new, I flow liquid like the water, and I am filled with expectation, with endurance, and most of all with God’s promises. Blue skies, gray days, it matters not for I am held securely in the bowl of my Father’s hands today, always.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “With all of your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you and he will clear the road for you to follow.”
All scripture quoted from the “New Contemporary Version”