Sunshine and Shadow

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It all began with this old tree outside my living room window. Amazing how God can use a twisted ugly old tree and humble pigeons to radiate His morning sunlight and reach a hurting heart.

It’s times like this that I wish I were a really good photographer and understand the concept of catching light and shadow, because that is what this is all about.

I was  cold as I watched the sun’s softness spread over the frozen countryside. I sat, huddled on our tiny loveseat, gazing at the little bit of open space surrounding the back of our house. It was the one space where I wasn’t distracted with buildings and houses and silos and stone quarry elevators. The old tree with Kobe’s borrowed baby swing and Kierra’s stretched hammock hanging in it. The remains of a bird feast were scattered black over the ground at it’s knobby trunk.

I felt so very empty inside. Like someone had carved a huge chunk out of my heart and closed the door and left the light off. I didn’t know how or what to feel. I didn’t know if that feeling of ‘nothing’ was even normal.

Then  I noticed the pigeons. Since pigeons are in the Dove family, I think it would be much more gracious to call them Doves. Regardless of the proper term, I will do just that 🙂

A plain, grey Dove was perched high in the ancient budding arms of that old tree.

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Her breast gleamed pink in the soft warming rays of the morning light.

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Her feathers were unruffled. Her bright eyes alert. She was basking in the glow of love, soaking up the warmth.

She was beautiful.

Quite different from her neighbor below her.

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Hidden in the chilly shadows of a slighter tree, shivering and buffeted by the bite of frost, sat another Dove.

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Her feathers were ruffled. Her legs shook with the strength it took to hold on. She sat among the buds of springtime also, but she sat in the shadows. No gentle bathing sunshine for this one!

I could nearly hear her thoughts running though her frozen brain.

I am cold.

But it doesn’t matter.

I have to be tough. I can take it.

I’ll let the higher branches for the other birds.

They deserve the warmth.

I wouldn’t want to spoil their morning view with poor little grey, shivering, ugly me.

I don’t belong up there. 

I don’t want to stick out

because i am afraid

and I am not good enough to sit up high

and enjoy the beautiful view

and warmth.

Yes, it’s best if i just sit down here and tough it out.

That poor Dove! She was so blinded by her own greyness.

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She had no concept of how BIG the tree was. How VAST the warm sun reached. How many empty branches were just WAITING to support her.

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As I sat and watched her shiver, I realized how much I was like her. So many people in life have faced so many harder things then we have. There is heartache and tears and sorrows that run deep grooves into places I have never been.

But this life is not about depths of pain. It’s about trusting God and choosing LIGHT in whatever type or level of pain you are experiencing right now. Give God your pain. Because it will kill your spirit with the weight of it. You were not made to bear it alone.

He found them in a desert land,and in the howling waste of a wilderness. He encircled him, He cared for him,and guarded him as the pupil of His eye. Deut. 32:10

The whole tree top is waiting for us, my friend. We have every right and privilege to go up there and bask in our Savior’s love. We do not deserve it, but oh, how

we NEED a Son of Light and warmth,

we NEED a Protector

we NEED a Savior

we NEED a Gentle Healer!

He is our Creator. Our Father. Our Jesus. Our God.

Our Friend.

The best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone around us is to achingly creak up there on freezing wings and perch on the warmest branch we can find, and let Him love us. Because when He loves us, it’s only then that we can really truly face life. Our hearts can begin to unthaw. Our numbness begin to tingle. Our blood begin to flow again.

Perhaps some cold huddled mass below us will have the courage to come perch with us, wrecks that we are, and bask in His light too.

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The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.

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6 thoughts on “Sunshine and Shadow

  1. Michele, thanks for the bird ID 🙂 After i thought a bit more and looked a bit closer i saw the very evident mourning dove 🙂 My bird identifying skills are VERY rusty:) But i DO love birds!

  2. absolutely beautiful – I am sure God is using not only your gift of writing, but your honest expression or heartache with trust to encourage others!!!!

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