Birds, and Trees and Betty
I have a love/hate relationship with birds.
And a definite hate relationship with scary movies. When I was little, I remember terrible nightmares that involved bad men from The Rifleman and screaming over and over in my head for my mom and dad, but being unable to wake up.
It was horrible. And I still remember my terror all these years later.
Then there was the anxiety and dread that washed over me whenever the theme song for the Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock came on before I could jump up and run to the TV to get the channel changed. I especially remember a time when we were at Gordon and Ruth Blade’s one evening, and I was in the TV room by myself when that music started. Everyone else was visiting at their kitchen table, Gordon’s dog, Cindy, sitting on his lap.
I couldn’t get myself back to the others fast enough.
And then the movie, Birds, finished me off for a long time as far as flying creatures . More rational adult thinking eventually brought me away from fear and towards an appreciation for the beauty and sheer gracefulness of many birds. But, I still got the heebie-jeebies when they were flying overhead at Menards.
Hawks and Longmire are changing that for me. Following a significant event in my life, hawks started making strange appearances in my environment. Swooping in front of me as I left our driveway, flying beside me as I went down the road, sitting on fence posts, high wires.
I began to see hawks EVERYWHERE, and their appearance has become a comfort for me and appreciated as a hug from above.
The TV show Longmire has a strong Native American component and is teaching me a few things about that culture. Nature told the story to them in ways that I find curious and interesting. Birds had real significance to Native Americans.
So did trees.
Someone recently shared this graphic on social media:
I have never been afraid of trees, but I have been enthralled with them for the last few years. I LOVE looking up into their branches and marveling at the way the sky looks as I glance through leaves, needles and empty limbs. I have taken gobs of photographs standing under trees with my camera pointed up.
Great big trees shout to me of their Creator, and are mentioned many, many times in scripture. I love those verses. They are great reminders to me to put my roots deep in Christ’s love for me, and to believe Holy Spirit’s promise to produce beautiful fruit for God’s glory.
Trees also convict me. Our church has a bunch of beautiful people who are older than us who have lived faithful lives. They keep showing up at church, and are a great ENCOURAGEMENT to hang in there, keep fighting the good fight, be steady, hold fast, and SHOW UP.
Unfortunately, that generation is leaving us one by one, a reminder that this world is NOT our home and this part of our journey won’t last forever.
Fortunately, our church also has a huge group of people younger than us. It’s now our turn to be examples of faithfulness, constancy, live-what-you-say believers. We want to be the kind of people who can be counted on to show up Sunday after Sunday, planted firmly in our faith.
I’m a believer, for sure!
And that brings me to Betty. Betty Yaw is Jasper County’s cheerleader.
She worked for years as a custodian at our high school where she washed all the sports uniforms, cleaned messes, listened to kids problems, celebrated successes and passed out treats. The kids LOVED her then, and they love her still.
Now, I’m blessed to have her in MY life. She has sent me cards, given me gifts, sent me encouraging messages and hugged my neck when I needed it.
I’ve seen grown women stand in line for a “Betty” hug. She is a blessing in ways of which she may never be aware.
Every person we meet needs to be reminded how valuable they are, to be seen, to be accepted as they are and pushed to go where God is leading them.
Who is God placing in your path you could “Betty”? Who is He placing in mine?
I’m praising my Heavenly Father today because He encourages me with birds, with trees, and with people. He loves me so, and after all these years, I’m really believing it! I don’t want to miss HIS good gifts for me, and I don’t want you to either.
What special ways does God use to show his love to you? Share with us, friends!!!