Friday, November 19, 2010
Waiting for the Light
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mt 6:26)
As I leave the church in the early morning hours, I walk across the parking lot and look up to see these birds. I always wish them a “Good Morning”, (but they don’t respond back, except perhaps for a few chirps). They sit in the highest branches of the tallest tree on the West side of the lot. To the East, behind the church, the sun is rising. They’re waiting for it. On some mornings I come out at just the right time, and I can see them bathed in the sunlight, with the shadow line of the church cutting across below them. On some mornings, there are upwards of a hundred birds in those branches, waiting for the light.
They begin to gather almost as soon as the black of night begins to turn to grey. They seem to come in groups, of five or ten, kind of like families gathering at the church. Oh, the tree even at its fullest is mostly empty, but I think the ones who really want to be there are --- or perhaps the ones who really NEED to be there are. For some the increasingly cold nights are probably a burden, and they can’t wait for the warmth of the light. Perhaps for some, I don’t know, maybe they are somewhat afraid of the dark – in the late evening I sometimes hear a bird crash into mom’s front window, disoriented in the dimness as it looks for the bird feeder and seeds. Regardless, they are there in the tall tree for a reason, and they must believe it to be a good one. They are very loyal; most appear every day, looking for the light, looking for the warmth, looking to ward off the fears of the night.
Earlier, I saw similar groups of people flock to the early morning mass. Perhaps they were there for the similar reasons. Are they satisfied in what they seek? I don’t know, but they too come back there each day, waiting for the Light.