Lessons I Learned From a Wounded Black Bird

By Danielle Macaulay

I was standing at my kitchen sink, scrubbing yesterday's pots and pans and staring off into space. The house was quiet, as the boys were out back squeezing in the last few moments of summer. Dan was in the sunroom staring off into his own kind of space - his laptop screen. It had been a peaceful summer, but those warm sunny days were a healing balm to an unexpected springtime wound.

As I unfolded a kitchen towel onto the counter to place the dripping dishes on, my trance was interrupted by a startling bang. My attention turned to the back window. It happened so fast, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw a big black bird smack hard into our sunroom window, become disoriented, and then turn around and fly off.

"Did you see that!?" I shouted to Dan.

"See what?"

Apparently he had been very deep into space.

"You mean, you didn't hear that big bang on the window?!" He hadn't, but I sure did.

That poor bird, flying free, minding it's own business, and them WHAM. He wouldn’t have known what hit him. It was seemingly clear skies in front of him, after all.

As fast and sudden as that bird was put to a halt, the Lord spoke to me, clear as that window.

You see, earlier that spring, Dan and I were flying high. We were on cloud nine, hopeful about a new opportunity. We were soaring in the right direction, or so we thought.

This new opportunity was exactly what we had dreamed of and what we had prayed for.  It was going to solve all of our problems. It was idyllic; a gift. From every angle, it seemed perfect. We thanked God that he was giving us our heart's desires.... and then, BAM.

God said "No."

Like that black bird's flight had been abruptly ended by a smack against our window, the hopeful journey we were on had been suddenly replaced with a startling and devastating ending. Like the bird, we felt smacked in the face, shocked, disoriented and wounded.

We didn't understand. We asked God "Why?" We cried as we absorbed the pain. We did our best to trust in the face of devastation and the unknown, but we were hurt and confused.

I wonder what that black bird was flying to. Where did he want to land? Did something desirable in our sunroom catch his attention?

God, who whispers in our ear (or, sometimes bangs it on our windows) was letting me know that day, that the bird was better off outside where he could fly free. If he made it to whatever was luring him in, he might not have made his way out again. He thought he wanted in, he didn't belong there. He would have become a caged bird.

Though that invisible window pane caused some temporary pain, it was keeping the bird out for his own good. It was put there to keep him out, to keep him flying free. God made that bird, and He knows how, and where it should fly.

And, God knows which path is best for me to take as well. You too.

That day, God assured me that the painful and confusing "No" was for our own good and for our protection. He cares deeply for me, and for you, my friend. God knows the path that we should take. When we veer from that, He will course correct. If that involves pain, be assured that He will nurse your wound back to health. Sometimes He allows pain, but He will take care of you through it. You are more valuable to Him than you'll ever know.

"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" - Matthew 6:26