Why We Should Listen To Birds?

Photo by  Ray Hennessy  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Birds Sing of Joy, Peace, and Hope. 

by Eric Elkin

Under [the cedar] every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind.
— Ezekiel 17: 23b

Last week was a beautiful summer evening. The sky was clear, and the air was free from humidity. The temperature, which had been fluctuating between very hot and cold, was warm and gentle. It was such a beautiful evening, Peggy and I decided to take a short bike ride.


We cruised down the hill through the lush green woods of our street into a commercial area. Cars flew by on Highway 61, most trying desperately to get home after a long day of work. Riding our bikes over the pedestrian crossway, we headed down to the train tracks. Train engines and cars lined up, three deep and for as long as the eye could see. 


Our path was leading us through a jungle of American commerce. Concrete roads and crossways; steel guard rails and railroad tracks; all the elements necessary to move products and production. The speed of activity was amazingly fast compared to our bikes. The comfort of tree-lined streets changed as concrete took over.


One does not need to be conscious of the surrounding conditions to feel out of step. A person not tucked away in steel cab driven by pistons and the quickfire explosions of gas feels vulnerable in the concrete world.

God has a plan for how to start anew…In those places and times of hardship, it seems appropriate to think about the newness and change and hope that comes when God takes twigs and makes cedars.
— Tyler Mayfield

Turning away from the more industrial area, we cruised into a quiet neighborhood along the Mississippi River. When we first moved into this area, this was a neighborhood with unrealized potential. Back then the grass was not tended, the house looked beaten and worn, and few people dwelled outside. 


This night, however, people were outside. They were working on their yards or sitting down enjoying finished work. A variety of home improvement projects transformed this neighborhood back to life. Still, no one smiled or waved as we rode by them. It may have been beautiful, but it lacked joy.


As we drew nearer the Mississippi River, we found a little green space set aside for visitors to look out over the river. We got off our bikes and sat there looking in silence at the dark water rushing by like traffic on Highway 61. To our left was a home with a beautiful yard. The yard was filled with trees. In the trees, birds danced around and sang. 


These birds knew both beauty and joy. They sang a wonderful witness to those who could hear them. What is the point of work if those who labor do not find joy in it, or are able to find a place to sing and enjoy peace?


Creation and its creatures serve to remind us, human creatures, of our deepest need. The need we often suppress and diminish as unimportant, spiritual health. My spirit discovers joy and peace when birds sing in trees. It’s not just their beauty, it is the song of a Creator I hear singing. It gives my soul rest.

Click to read Ezekiel 17: 22-24

Reflection Questions:

  • When have you built something with your hands?
  • How much joy did it bring your soul? And, how long did that joy last?
  • How often do you notice the created world and its creatures when dwelling in the human made world?
  • Where do you find beauty, joy and peace in creation?

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