Hold my breath, don’t let this moment end…

cardinal.jpg  There is a tree outside my kitchen window.  It is situated in just such a perfect place that on those rare occasions when I have a peaceful moment, I can sit at the kitchen table with a cup of tea and watch the wildlife, so I have outfitted it with various birdfeeders.  The main visitors are myriads of sparrows and starlings (which John lovingly calls my welfare system), but there are occasional visits from more interesting, colorful birds and of course, our gray squirrel Rocky.

In the wintertime, we can look forward to occasional visits from blue jays, who are usually very naughty to the other birds, but their beauty against winter’s lack of color usually makes me forgive them immediately (and besides, they’re only bullying the sparrows who have eaten more than their fair share of the birdseed anyway)  Much more rare, however are the visits from the cardinals.  Their striking red color make them the most treasured of all the birdfeeder’s visitors.  Whenever I see one, it is worth stopping my work for a moment to appreciate it.

Today I was talking with my mother on the phone when I saw a flash of red in my peripheral vision.  Upon a second look I saw it again.  When I focused my attention, I saw not one, but four, beautiful male cardinals and their mates playing and dancing in the tree in the falling snow.  Wow!  I’ve never seen anything like it.

Earlier this morning, John and I were asked to substitute in the 4&5 year old room.  Our lesson was from Matthew 6:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  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?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you…?”  (Mt. 6:25-30)

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