THE WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN
The Preacher's Wife

A GIFT OF BLUEBIRDS

bluebird

I saw another bluebird today. I've been watching for their early arrival for a couple of weeks now. I know poetically the first robin is supposed to herald Spring, but to me, it's bluebirds. My heart just opens up and smiles..maybe even giggles a little.. whenever I see a bluebird in all his feathered finery. I love all the birds that flock around our home and in our vicinity but the bluebird holds a place of his own.

His lovely blue jacket, his red/rust vest, his white underparts sets him apart among the many brown and grey common birds. Sure, the cardinals hold reign with their brilliant red feather , the yellow goldfinches bring splashes of sunshine into view,the hummingbirds like little winged jewels make us stand breathless as we watch their maneuvers in flight. The little chickadees and titmice and nuthatches and wrens and others all have a gentle beauty of their own, and I never tire of watching them as they visit the feeder just outside our window.

I've seen glimpses of them, one or two at a time this past month. I THINK a couple is setting up housekeeping in the birdhouse by the rail fence. We'll keep close watch on their activity. Bluebirds are not really into crowded feeders . They prefer their privacy and really prefer to find their own meals rather than depend on our seed offerings. I'm no expert on bluebirds but I've picked up on a few of their habits. It's like a small new discovery whenever I see one sitting high on a nearby limb, or pecking at insects that wandered into their territory. A couple of weeks ago I was having coffee by the fire in the sunroom one morning and watching the daily aerial show the neighborhood birds and squirrels were putting on. Then I caught a glimpse, just a glimpse, of blue. Not bluejay blue, pretty as that is, but that special blue that said "A bluebird is nearby." As I watched the single bluebird came closer and hopped onto the feeder. In a minute here came his mate, not quite so elegant in her dress but very ladylike in her subdued blues. Then as I watched, the pair flew to the birdbath, tested the water, then made some unseen signal and before my astonished eyes here come five more bluebirds and they all perched side by side on the rim of the birdbath.They all leisurely satisfied their thirst and one or two began to dip their bills into the water a sprinkle themselves .

Suddenly one brave fellow jumped right into the middle of the birdbath and proceeded to take a full bath. Oh, he was enjoying the splashing. Then another decided it might be fun so he hopped in at the edge and dipped his wings in . then another..Three birds a one time were splashing and shaking and dipping and fluffing at the same time while the rest of the family (I assume it was a family gathering) just sat in happy approval. After several minutes the original pair fluffed their feathers and flew away info nearby trees,and as if they had heard a summons, the five "youngsters" flew in a group to join the others I tried to keep them in sight with binoculars but they did a magic disappearing act and were lost to my view in seconds. I just sat and basked in the luxury and privilege and pleasure of having observed a most unusual and beautiful sight.

I know this will sound a little weird, or far-out, but on several occasions, God has graciously given me an unexpected gift of bluebirds. It alway happens when I am going through a difficult time . The first time it happened was in the early months after my husband had gone into fulltime evangelism and our well-ordered ,steady comfortable life as the family of the pastor of a wonderful church we all loved, was turned topsy turvy. I felt so shaken, somewhat frightened, isolated and lonely.

We had built a small comfortable home some ten miles in the country and we fell in love with the quietness,the peace, the open space, the beauty of nature about us. There is a soothing, a healing, a comfort in such surroundings. On this day, I had taken the children to school and returned home alone. I felt so overwhelmed, so burdened..yes,so sad, I just started weepig uncontrollably, something I very, very seldom have ever done. I felt I was in a crisis of some sort but I couldn't consciously pray. (Have you ever been there ? Of course you have).

As I gained contol of my emotions, I looked out the window into the yard. And suddenly,as from nowhere, there sailed into view and onto our front lawn a FLOCK of beautiful, beautiful bluebirds, shining in the sun. It seemed there were dozens and they literally covered the ground . I stood amazed and transfixed as I watched . I don't really know how long they stayed but it seemed a long time. And with their coming there came to me such a flooding of peace and the indescribable sense of being held gently in the arms of the Lord. It was His special way of giving me a tangible assurance of His love, His awareness of the situation, His protection. I had such a feeling of RIGHTNESS. Gradually the sense of His Presence softly faded and as if by His command the bluebirds all lifted wings at once and flew away out of sight. It is a memory I treasure Several times since then in a difficult or trying situation I have heard Him whisper to my heart. "Look for a bluebird."

Now, silly as it might sound, I do just that. When I feel undue pressure or stress or trouble pressing in, i start looking for a bluebird. Not always, but sometimes, sometimes....He will direct my eyes and there it will be . a lovely, sweet symbol of tranqility and peace . Even when I don't see with my eyes, my heart sees a bluebird and sings .How blessed it is to know the God of Creation takes time to reach down to just one person...you, me..and give a special reassuring touch of His grace . Mybe you won't see a blueird, maybe He has another way to comfort and bless you but look and listen.

One day the sun was shining, skies were blue, a soft breeze was blowing, spring was in the air I spoke to a friend passing by, "Isn't this a beautiful day?" He called back to me, "Yes, It's a BLUEBIRD DAY". May this day be a bluebird day to you as you open your heart to to a miracle of love from the Lord Jesus.

all rights.ruthmartin.March 2, 2005

WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN

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