Friday, March 9, 2012

Finches: part 2

My finch feeder has six perches. Many times I’ll see five of those perches occupied with the tiny beauties, but rarely all six. Even with the empty spots, the finches will perform their flying gymnastics, waiting impatiently for a turn at the feeder, while those on the perches nibble, then look around, then nibble again. Sometime there’s a battle for a particular perch, even with another empty spot available. One bird will swoop in and knock another one off its feeding spot…how rude! I wouldn’t like to be interrupted in the middle of a meal, would you? I often want to shout: “Hey! There’s another spot on the other side! There’s plenty of food for everyone. There’s even more food in the big bag for you when the feeder is empty!”

I behave like those finches. Even with plenty of love and grace available to me, I approach God with feeble prayer requests, looking for one tiny piece of nyjer seed at a time. Hey God, would You please watch over our family today? While You’re at it, do You think You could help my parents too? How about my neighbors, or maybe my husband, and all those other people at the cancer center? What about me…do You have energy left for me, too, God? And do You still love me for asking all this?

God probably feels like I do with those little finches. I imagine He wants to say: “Eat away! Ask away! I have all that…and more for you, Lisa!” Like the finches, I eat from God’s stores of abundance by putting my face right in there; pulling out those treats personally. I, too, find myself peeking around from my perch in prayer, as if I’m watching for someone to knock me off my spot to tell me it’s not my turn to ask God for anything anymore. And God probably wants to say “Hey! There’s another spot and plenty of room and food for everyone! I have more than you can imagine!”

Like the finches, I need to feed on one little piece at a time, since that’s what it takes to understand God’s love. I approach God cautiously, watching out for the other finches who I think might get my portion of God’s love. Sometimes I even change perches, thinking the love tastes different from another angle. But when I remember God probably wants to take His entire bag of nyjer seed and dump it all over me, I can realize more clearly the truth in my soul: with God, there’s always more, if only I ask.

This morning, all six perches at the feeder were filled for a few moments, yet there’s still plenty of finch food left. How about that?