This morning I went out and sat on the front porch about 9 AM. I was stressed, a medical procedure is scheduled for later today. The sun was warm on my face and arms. It’s January. But it’s the Southwest. I shed my long sleeve workout shirt and pulled my jammies up to my knees so I could feel the heat on my legs.

My wife came out to join me. We noted that the ornamental pear tree in the front yard is beginning to bloom; tiny red buds will soon pop out into white blossoms. Later in the season the bright white pedals will fall to the ground like spring snow when the wind blows. it’s turning spring in Southern California. The lantana’s in the yard are flowering purple, yellow and red. Weeds are popping up in the flowerbeds; grass is turning green in the driveway cracks. Life is renewing.

As we sat in the sun, small birds came and went from the pear tree like commuters arriving and leaving from a major airport.

We went in and grabbed some binoculars and bird identification books. I’ve always loved the birds, their amazing ability to fly, their beautiful markings and coloration, their robust busyness, their characteristic insouciance.

This morning the birds were like flowers in the trees, “There’s a red one! There’s a yellow one! Is that a warbler, no I think it’s a goldfinch. It’s so yellow but it has a white wing bar. And the red ones. I think the’re house finches. Look at all the striping on the chest, the red throat and head.

I’m never sure about some of these identifications. Maybe the goldfinches were warblers. It doesn’t matter. We saw them. We grounded ourselves in reality. We grounded ourselves in the supernatural.

We sat in the gold. The cool breeze brushed against our faces. We turned our eyes upward to sun, blue sky and tree. More birds came, a black phoebe, an Anna’s hummingbird. We heard a dove cooing.

These fragile, beautiful lifeforms remind us of something important. They reminders that we are taken care of, that we have been taken care of and that we will be taken care of, fed, sheltered, treasured.

They remind us that we are valued, cared for, that someone is watching us, someone who knows our names— without uncertainty — who knows our identities and knows our futures.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 6

So don’t worry. And don’t be afraid, the best you can. Right! This can be hard. I know. There is harm in our world. You will experience trouble at times. I understand. But be reminded that we overthink what we fear. Try to stop that. The habitual, mental loop goes nowhere. Stop trying to control what you can’t control. Let life, God, good come to you more rather than trying to wrestle it from the world. Practice good psycho-hygiene. Lean into the burgeoning good all around you. Breathe in provisions deeply. Be grateful.

Live like the birds. Take found food. It will be there in the tree in bloom near you. Fly with the flock from one safe space to another, unless you need to roost and rest. Find safe places to roost. Don’t be afraid to rest alone.

My heart is for you and with you. You are not alone. Your Heavenly Father is near and so am I, in this small blog, caring for you the best I can.

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