Two years ago we were pushed from the nest. A church nest. Never one we liked better. It was soft, a place that drew us in and gave us comfort. It was strong too, woven with the iron of men and women of depth and character and faith. A busy place. We were a whirlwind of activity, flitting from event to event. We learned a bit about teaching and leading there. We really did love it and never would have left but life pushed us out and we landed mewling and more than a litte quizzical a few states away.
And for the past several years, we've been looking for a new nest. One that is strong and comfortable and challenging. We've tried to make ourselves at home in two since we arrived. They were of the traditional variety as the majority here are, constructed with pews and suits and hymns. One was weak and sagging; pride and indifference threatened to tear it to shreds. The other didn't need us. Oh, they were happy to see us each Sunday but all the jobs were taken (kitchen helper, craft leader, seniors event coordinator) and there were no jobs for the things we were good at, things like prayer and Bible study and thinking outside the box.
As time went on, I mewled louder. When you first put us here, I was sure you had work for us to do. It's been ten months, fifteen months... and nothing. Nothing. Why did you bother to put us through the long fall if you had nothing for us. We were busy and happy... Did you hear me?...happy!
There was no answer to all my racket.
The birds in both nests chirped Amazing Grace and Just As I Am each and every Sunday at the appointed hour. My birds began to rewrite these songs into cat poems and to sing them in chipmunk. The beginnings of a mutiny. I know one when I see it. Clearly it was time to find another nest or lose our birds.
We have recently settled into a third nest. The one were looking for from the beginning. Only it wasn't here then. It's in the early stages of becoming with lots of work to do and brimming with ideas and creativity and talent. It's short on tradition and long on truth. It is being woven together with the iron of men and women full of faith and mettle. The birds sing here. The baby birds stand down in the front and sing at the top of their lungs and clap and dance. The mamas and the papas and the grandmamas and papas sing and clap and a few lift their wings to the heavens and one or two shout. I dance a little dance because I can't help it. The worship leader belts out the songs but when he prays he usually whispers and he always chokes back tears, overwhelmed by the greatness of his God.
God's Spirit rests mightily on this place. A place full of life giving water in this dry and weary land. And once again I can say it is good to be in the house of the Lord.