By TRACEY MICHAE’L LEWIS-GIGGETTS
Sometimes I worry. Scratch that. Most of the time I worry. I worry about whether my daughter is getting all she needs from me as her mother. Whether, as a freelance/entrepreneurial household, the bills will get paid. Whether hubby and I will survive the storms that inevitably come to most marriages. Whether I will ever get my health in check.
On one particularly worrisome morning, I felt led to get up and take a walk. Nothing major. Just around the block. Maybe to the neighborhood across the street and back. This was truly an act of faith considering that I’d spent the early part of the week dealing with severe vertigo and other health complications. But I grabbed my cane and decided to walk anyway.
Walking has actually been something I’ve been doing for awhile now. When feeling overwhelmed, I like to connect with nature. Gardening, walking, ultimately being outside calms my raging mind enough for me to actually hear the Holy Spirit speak. I call it my “download” time. I often think, for those of us who are believers, there is so much God wants to say, so much guidance and peace available to us, but our heads are just too crowded and noisy with…well, life and living. Hearing God’s voice is impossible when we get like this, even if we want to hear it. Admittedly, this specific morning my worries were in overdrive.
God, I don’t want to die.
Lord, please reconcile our finances.
Father, restore my relationships.
And do you see that? You’d think I was praying with all my “Lord…” this and “Lord…” that. But I’m not slick. These were pretend prayers. They were worries masking as supplication. I knew that. And of course, God knew that.
So I needed to walk. I needed my meditation for the day. Even if the streets started spinning (because: vertigo) and I toppled over onto the ground, I was going to walk.
And as I was walking, I heard it. I heard Him. To my skeptics, noooo there wasn’t any James Earl Jones-ish voice booming from the clouds. No whirlwind spinning me like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. No talking burning bushes. Just birds.
Yep, you read that right.
Several different kinds of birds, I suspect. All tweeting and crowing and carrying on. And in my heart, I was compelled to listen. I listened and listened and listened some more. Then my imagination kicked in. In my mind, I saw a mother bird bring back an early morning breakfast to her babies in a nest. The baby birds were tweeting and grabbing and…allow me this…grateful. Then a passage of scripture, one I learned in some Sunday school or Vacation Bible School class as a kid in Kentucky, came to mind:
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:26-31, 34 NLT)
Ahh, yes. Essentially, the word for me that morning was, You’re going to be alright. It’s all going to be alright.
“Even my K, Lord?”
Yes, she’ll be fine.
“Even my marriage, Lord?”
Yes, you have some work to do, but you all will be okay.
“My finances, too?”
You heard those birds, right?
“What about Black folks in America? Justice?” (Yes, I went there.)
Keep standing for what’s right, but yes and yes.
But of course, my imagination kicks in again and this time I see the same mama bird and her nest of babies.
Emphasis on the nest.
See I live in a pretty urban area just outside of Philadelphia. And while there are definitely plenty of green spaces, my neighborhood is mostly nearly hundred-year old stone homes with very small yards (if any). So sometimes you might find a bird’s nest on top of a garage, on a telephone pole, under a deck, or in someone’s broke down car. These birds will make their nests anywhere they can in order to take care of their young. Ideal conditions would be a tree or a bush but if those things aren’t available, contrary to popular belief, they don’t just abandon their young. They do what they need to do even in less than ideal situations.
And there it is.
In the midst of all my worries, THIS was my nugget inside the nugget. Because not only will God take care of me and mine (and you and yours), He will also give us the strength and wisdom and ingenuity to care for it all—even in the most unlikely of circumstances.
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This post is the latest in Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts’ “Faith & Motherhood” series.
[Photo by Srivatsa Sreenivasarao for Unsplash]
Tracey Michae'l is a writer and educator based out of the Philadelphia area. She is a wife to William and a mother to a beautiful two-year old little girl. You can find her on the web at www.traceymlewis.com.