Over and over I have heard the same response to these tiny, delicate, tufted creatures: “Beautiful”.  

They are beautiful.  A special kind of beautiful. A beauty found not in perfection obtained, but in the delicate messiness of maturation in process.  I am awed by the fact that just days ago, these creatures were hidden in tiny blue eggs. I am amazed at the bulging dark eyes that will soon be open. I am touched by the tiny beaks opening in trust to be fed at every passing shadow. (Many of which are me and my camera.)  I am enthralled by the idea that someday, (probably too soon) they will be making their first flight. . I am enjoying every step in the process, savoring each one in both words and photos. I don’t want to miss a moment. I want to chronicle every feather and milestone.  It feels like a holy place, this tiny nest.  Mud and twigs and decayed grass have become a place of life and growth. I want to stay near it.

This morning, after checking on my little treasures, I  settled onto the couch for a few minutes of quiet.  God and I were once again  arguing about where I am in MY development.  (Ok, so I’m the only one arguing.)  I have been frustrated with myself for eating my way through a stressful time and totally blowing off the exercise my body needs.  I’ve been irritated by my insecurity and fear of failure that’s been keeping me on the fringe of doing what I feel called to.  

I joke that I am spiritually developmentally delayed. The truth is, I believe it and I hate it.

As I sat in the quiet, accusations echoed in my mind: “When will you get it together?  Can’t you just TRUST?  Do you even believe? Why are you so insecure?  Why do you do this to  ourself? Why do you make things so hard? You KNOW the right things to do, why don’t you DO them?” As the echoes crashed like waves, I wondered how God can stand to look at me, let alone listen Suddenly, my mind was flooded with the picture of the tiny birds, heads wobbling, beaks agape and eyes un-developed.  I couldn’t resist smiling.

“They are beautiful, aren’t they?”  said the quiet voice that is like mine, but wise. “Amazingly beautiful.” I answered.  “What makes them beautiful? Why do you keep trying to capture it?” the voice asked.  I paused.

The truth is they simply ARE beautiful.  Beautiful in a messy, splotchy, tufted, half formed, kind of way. Their  constant changing is what’s drawing me as often as I dare,  to snap photos.  I want to capture the process, revelling in each step along the way.  I watch as hope unfolds to fulfillment.   There has been something truly magical about seeing these tiny birds grow and mature.   Before I could form my answer, the voice interrupted.  “I see you the same way.”  

Tears and truth washed away the accusations.  My heart took flight at the  knowledge of who God is.  He is not the accuser.  He is the one who made me and (is) forming me, even today.  He doesn’t see me as spiritually delayed, but as a creature beloved and in development.  The way he sees us all.

Today- I’m meditating on Psalm 139- and wondering at the greatness of his love, tender compassion and care.  I hope you’ll join me, at the altar of a robin’s nest, in worshipping the God who loves you and is at work in you, making you what he wants you to be, beautiful,  in his time.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11