when you hit the wall

There are days when I just plain need rescuing.

Tonight the wind blows slightly cooler and high towers of purple storm clouds roll in from the distant horizon.  It has been an ordinary day of too much to do before lunch and it being too hot afterwards to do much at all.

I step outside to do my evening round of greetings and hugs.  Walking across to our neighborhood of white children’s houses with aqua trim a stone’s throw from my gate, I am greeted by an all out melee. I turn to see what the excitement is about just in time to watch a small feathered projectile fly headlong into the side of the nearest house.  My own brood rushes to gather its stunned little body and bring the spoils of their find to me.

Miniature nearsighted kamakazi finches had been flying into the walls. I don’t know what is a worse fate.  To hit a cement wall full bore or to be “rescued” by some of my children who are still learning kindness to animals is a virtue worth pursuing.  Some of my older daughters take my cue and stop the younger ones from having their way, the bewildered birds twice rescued.

I motion my elated flock over and rescue one of their finds, cupping it gentle in my hand.  Totally free to fly, but held safely until she had mustered the strength to try again. Some days when I hit the wall, I just need to be cupped gentle until I recover.

For ten minutes, maybe more, she sits motionless in my hand as one by one carefully monitored little fingers stroke her head, soft and kind.  How far simple kindness can go when you have crash landed after your best efforts.  Sometimes it is not the super spiritual we need most.  Sometimes we just need someone to offer to hold our fragile state with gentleness, speak softly and offer a cup of tea along with a listening ear.  I am so grateful for the friends in my life who handle my fragile days with care… and my bad hair days with grace, ruffled feathers all included therein.

My new companion just rests in my palm, even as I can just rest safely in His, leaning hard against where my very name is etched in love.  Suddenly she turns, springs forth, spreading her wings and soars without hesitation smack into another wall.  Hard she falls stunned to the ground.  I walk over, pick her up again and in a moment she finally flies far away from such dangerous places that have audacious walls and curious children.

I know that that feels like.  To miss the wall and fly straight into it.  Be rescued.  Draw up the courage to try again only to fly into another one.

But there is such good news when we miss the obvious and hit the wall, on the days we need rescuing even from ourselves, the times we are fragile and vulnerable and need to be cupped with care.  HE is there waiting.  Not a sparrow or a nearsighted finch or one of us falls to the ground without Him there ready, watching, tender, kind.  It is this love, this grace that teaches us how to truly fly free.