I’ve counted over two dozen lorikeets in my front yard at times, all coming to feed from the trays we place out there for them, but only two of these birds seem more comfortable with, or less afraid of us than the rest, and I figure that’s because they’ve become more familiar with us humans than the others have.
I talk to these birds, but, oddly enough, ;) they don’t seem to understand what I’m saying. I speak English to them, but I’m pretty darn sure it wouldn’t matter what language I spoke, they still wouldn’t understand me… However, I do speak to them from a heart of love - the one language we all speak.
I don’t know if these birds have the ability to learn, but I have witnessed two of the flock have become more willing to hang around when I walk out my front door, whereas the rest immediately take flight. It certainly seems to me that these two familiar friends have become aware that I mean them no harm… even though they are yet to come close enough for me to touch them.
Mind you, there’s a mirror just inside my front door, where I was standing the other morning putting on make-up when, at the echo of persistent chirping, I looked out the open doorway to see one of my faithful friends sitting on the rail of the veranda, no more than a metre from me, chirping away at me until I gave him some attention. With a smile, and deep affection for this beautiful critter, I asked, “You want your breakfast, huh?” and he bounced up onto the branches of the nearby tree, to where his feeder hung empty.
He communicated with me. He knew I would feed him. He’d witnessed me do it so often that he knew he could have his need met through me – or so it seemed. So, delighted that he’d shown me signs of trust, and even delighted that he would ask me – in his own way – to meet his need, I gladly sat my make-up aside and collected his feed. And, I'm pleased to say, he didn't fly away as I filled the tray with sunflower seeds.
This morning, when I exited my house, the only bird feeding jumped off his feeder and moved deeper into the midst of the branches. With a gentle tone, I said, “Don’t go; I won’t hurt you…” as I often do, though this time adding, “You know, it’s quite insulting to know that you think I would hurt you. If you knew me, you would know I would only ever love you…” and then it hit me how that bird is to me how we often are to God.
God is love. (1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.) Love is God’s main language. Hear the voice of love, and you hear Him. However, just as these birds didn’t grow up in my home but out in the wild, we grew up in this wild life, not in God’s Home. We weren’t trained by His hands, so we didn’t get to know Him or feel how tender His heart and hands are - just as these birds don't know who I am and how safe they are with me.
The birds that come to visit me lead the pace of our relationship. I haven’t trapped them, nor do I plan to. I don’t force myself on them, knowing that would simply startle them and they’d take off and may never come back. I speak to them with love, but whether their heart hears me or not I am yet to learn. I would really love to hold them and pat them, and even put my lips to their brow, or my cheek to theirs, but until they permit that it will never happen. I just have to wait, for however long it takes, for these guys to find trust towards me, and then, when and if they are ready, just open my hand for them to sit on it. They decide when. And when they do I will rejoice in our relationship at a deeper level.
I have found over the past 21 years of building a relationship with God that He pretty much does the same. He speaks love. He does not impose Himself upon us. He speaks to us, then waits for us to set the pace of the relationship, willing us to share a more intimate relationship with Him, but not forcing it. He won’t move towards you in a way that will startle you. He will wait for you to seek Him, because He doesn't want to scare you off. And when we seek Him, when we trust Him to tend to our needs, He does so. He is happy to do so. Because He is Love...
When we seek God, and finally sit ourselves in His hand, we soon learn that He has the most tender heart and the most gentle Spirit we have ever known, and will ever know – and He never causes us harm; He always protects us. And He always gives us the freedom of flying away from Him whenever we want… hoping we will return when we hear His whisper of love once more…