I’m standing there, in the middle of one of His countless fields of golden wheat.
I’m standing there with a sickle at my feet and the breeze slowly moving, as the grain is gently rustling. It’s a beautiful sound, and I can hear the fullness all around me. It’s almost harvest time again when the workers will come into the fields and collect all the goodness that’s been grown here and share it with others.
With one hand, I brush the golden tips beside me and smile. I know how difficult it’s been to grow this grain, how many hours I and others have poured into it, sowing seeds and nurturing, and watching and praying for rain and tilling the soil. These stalks would be so thin and sickly without all the love and attention those around it have heaped upon it.
Something else rustles and I’m distracted from the field around me as my attention is drawn back to my other hand, holding something right above my heart. My palm is cupping something there, fingers shielding it from the outside. I open my hand just slightly and see the baby bird inside, still resting.
You can see the outline of what’s supposed to be there: the mostly-naked wings, the ridges where feathers are supposed to grow soon, and the wide eyes that have opened a few times but remained mostly closed for now.
It’s a fragile creature and I’ve been caring for it, trying to make it stronger and help it grow. I’ve tried a few different things to help it along, but nothing seems to make its feathers grow faster, to make it open its eyes and fly away. Not until it’s ready, which it’s clearly not, judging from the sparse baby fuzz that still takes the place of feathers.
I’ve spent some time caring for this bird…maybe too much. I’ve had one hand working in this field and the other keeping the bird close to me, holding it and protecting it. Sometimes I’ve placed it in a little nest and let it be, but I always end up coming back to pick it up and cradle it.
I need to focus on this field around me, this work that is set before me. I can’t do that properly while trying to hold on to this fragile thing, smothering the poor thing.
I want to see it grow, to see the colour of its feathers, the way the ones on its tail arrange themselves, the way its coloured chest will puff out as it sings and its eyes as they dart about, observing the beauty all around them as it’s perched in a nest of its own.
I guess…I can’t make it grow like that. I can’t properly care for this small creature. I need some help.
As soon as those thoughts leave my brain, I see Him walking toward me.
The Farmer. It’s His field I’m working in now, or trying to. I found the bird within it some time ago, but have been too stubborn to ask for His help with it.
Until now, I guess.
You know, I bet He was just sitting on the front porch, waiting for that the whole time.
Huh. Should’ve known. I mean, He’s come out plenty of times and helped me get through some tough spots in the soil, pulling some sharp rocks out and helping to seed some important stuff.
He just knows things, and I know one of those things He knows is how to care for this little bird I have.
I sigh, opening my hand again and peering down at the fuzzy thing, still resting inside my palm.
I pull it away from my chest and look at it once more, quietly envisioning what it’ll grow up to be. It raises its sleepy head slightly and my thumb rubs its little noggin. It really doesn’t even look that much like a bird yet, but I know it will. Someday.
I cup my two hands around it and look up at the Farmer now in front of me, seeing His eyes crinkle as He smiles softly at me. He doesn’t say anything but slowly holds out His hand, waiting for me to place the baby bird inside.
I give the sleeping bird one last look, and gently place it inside His weathered palm. With His other hand, He gives my shoulder a warm squeeze.
He draws the bird to Him, up to His chest exactly where I had been clutching it against mine. The fledgling rests its head against His checkered flannel shirt and already looks happier.
I’m about ready to get on with things and turn away when I see the tiniest, baby feather on a wing. Did I not see that earlier, or…?
Breathing a deep sigh and a chuckle, I shake my head. Should have given that over to Him a long time ago. Actually.
As I watch Him walk back, I can see His head tilted down toward where I know the bird is cradled against His chest, and I know He’s whispering good things to it.
Stretching my arms above my head, I smile once again. I can’t help it, I guess. I just have a really good feeling about that bird and how He’s going to help it fly.
No, scratch that. He’ll make it soar.
As I pick up the sickle still sitting beside me and begin the seasonal task of collecting all the growth around me, I know I’ll see that bird again.
It’ll be marvelous and vibrant with colours and fully grown.
And it’ll be the best it can be because He held it against His heart and cared for it and grew it more than I ever could.