Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Before I moved to the country I thought that birdhouses were only decorative accessories. You know, like the cute little miniatures you find in gift stores that aren’t even really hollow? But the birdhouses my boys made and brought home one day actually looked like they were meant to be nailed to a tree. They were made from very rough dry boards that looked weathered and worn and once hung seemed to become one with the bark. Still, I wondered, do birds ever really use such houses? The answer is yes! We often sit at the dinner table and watch birds go in and out. It is great entertainment, and we sometimes take turns trying to narrate the scene or imagine what the birds might be thinking or saying:

“Here’s a nice one. No bathroom though, that could be a problem. Still, it is close to work…”

“Look dear, this one has a view of the garden! And can you believe all those worms? It does need a coat of paint, maybe that’s why it’s so cheep!”

“What do you mean this is your house? I don’t see your name on it! Besides, we’ve been summering here for ages!”

I guess before moving to Spangle I didn't paid much attention to birds, I just thought they all lived in nests. But the birds really seem to enjoy the birdhouses on our trees. They snuggle in them through thunderstorms, perch on top of them and look deep in thought, and even seem to play games around them. Birds somehow know that these houses are provided for their use, and readily occupy them without thought of lodging fees. Our feathered friends do not seem the least bit bothered that they did not earn the right to use the birdhouse or pay their own way. They simply accept the gift.

It reminds me of another gift that was nailed to a tree. A gift that cannot be earned, but must simply be accepted. He is a refuge from the storms of life, but, oh so much more. He offers me a home for all eternity…a mansion really. And while many go through life believing the idea of heaven to be more of a decorative accessory than an actual reality, I am convinced that heaven is not like the solid birdhouses with fake doors painted on them. Jesus, nailed to a tree, opened the door to heaven for me.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. I Peter 2:24

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