It was 8 a.m. and I was sitting in a local park, listening to the birds call back and forth. While scientists have ascertained that what they are really doing is proclaiming their territory (essentially saying, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”), I prefer a more poetic view of their melodious work.
Birdsong brings relief
to my longing
I'm just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say!
Please universal soul,
practice some song
The poem turns into a prayer. “Please Lord, practice Your song, Your love, Your joy, Your artistry through me.” As I pray this, my thoughts turn to the Psalms, which are prayers turned into poetry. Learning them has been a good way to increase my prayer vocabulary. What do the Psalms say about birds singing? “The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches,” Psalm 104:12. They are singing in earnest this morning.
The singing birds, the lush green park, the summer morning mist continue my meditations toward the psalms. “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life," Psalm 148:3.
Worship and poetry entwined.
Later in the week, I returned to that prayer. “Please Lord, practice Your song, Your love, Your something through me.” This was as I was approaching a restaurant to meet a friend who was grieving. I wanted to serve the Lord well, and my friend well. What I thought would be an hour or two, ended up being an entire day of loving service as we went to a park, talked about loss, had ice cream, lost her keys, and retraced all our steps.
As I was driving home, I realized that God had taken me up on my prayer. What I think is important to do (projects, generally), is not as important in His economy. A grieving heart in need of comfort and company was His plan for that day. What if I had not made myself available to Him to practice His song of love? He would have found another way to bring comfort, but I would have lost a valuable experience and lesson. I would not have been God's song.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.