The Edge Between Darkeness and Light

I plopped down in my lawn chair in the backyard.  Wine in hand.  Jammies already on.  Sitting next to my favorite guy and holding his hand as we watched the fire flicker in the fire pit. Marshmallows on sticks....sqishing out between the crackers and all over little fingers and pink cheeks.   "This is quite the life", I said.  "Not bad", was his reply.   I love his smile with the smile lines around his green eyes.  I wonder if I'll ever get tired of loving this man?  I don't think so.

I love spring and the freedom it brings.  Windows flung open and breezes floating in with their sweet scent of backyard flowers.  Heavy coats and clunky shoes abandoned to flip flops and bare feet.  Taking our evening walk around the yard to inspect the garden.  Kids running around catching bugs and making "nests" of grasses and twigs for the birds.  Dancing and running and giggling.  I can't help but think this is the way kids are supposed to and messy and wild.

The kids came dashing over to us, "There's a bright yellow bird in the tree!  And not a yellow bird like the kind that comes to the feeder.  More like someone's pet bird!"

We get up to inspect, sure that it's a finch and we'll be sitting in our chairs again in a moment.  But no!  It's a parakeet!  Surely, someone is missing this beautiful bird.  We pluck the twig the bird sits on, and transfer the bird and twig to a cardboard empty beer box.  Ha!

I close up the box, slide it under my lawn chair, and we both hit social media sites with our discovery....hoping someone raises their hand to claim our new little friend.  No luck.

Before bed, I get the bird to take some water with a little medicine dropper and deposit the box in the garage.

And what do we find this morning?  A little yellow bird on the garage floor....looking at us catiously. What in the world?  HOW did that bird escape? No matter did.  And now it's free.  As we approach, it flutters up to the edge of the attic opening, keeping a wary eye on me as I approach.

I gently climb the ladder.  I talk to the bird, trying to reassure her.  As I put my hand behind her to encourage her to escape me in the way I want her to fly....she flies the exact opposite direction.  Into the darkess of the attic....and she disappears.

Now I don't know what to do.  I can't get in the attic - I'll have to wait for Luke to come home so he can either heft himself up there or give me a boost.  And then what?  Catch this scared little creature? In the dark?  While trying to avoid the rafters with my head....but being sure to step in the right places  to avoid coming through the ceiling?

I decide, instead, to try and lure her out with food.  I put a little bowl of apples and strawberries on the edge of the attic opening. She's watching me, I can feel it.  When I poke my head into the attick, she chirps at me and flutters about.

We must get her out.  She's doomed up there with no water or food, and temps that will get too high in the next couple days.

So I sit on the edge.  I offer her food.  I'd never hurt her....but she doesn't know that.  She's comfortable in the safe darkness, even though she's probably hungry and thirsty.  But trusting me?  It's just too much to ask.  I try to lure her into the light, into my gentle hand.....I lure her with a quiet voice and sweet treats.  I imagine her sitting on a rafter, watching me.  Measuring me up.  Wondering if she stands a chance of surviving if she comes toward me....toward those berries....toward the light.

I wonder how deep her suffering will have to become for her to take the chance on me?

And why won't she trust me?  The hand that patiently dripped water into her mouth just hours before?  The hand that offered protection?  The hand that offered blessing?

I realize how incomprehensible I am to her.  She's operating on survival instict alone -she can not comprehend my concern for her.

Once again, I hear that familiar voice whisper to me.  "Yes, my love.  I know how you feel."

How similar to this frightened little bird am I?  I flutter around in the darkness.  I don't have what I need here. I'm hungry and thirsty.  I can see what I want....what I NEED....on the edge there....on the edge between this familiar darkness and brilliant light.  But oh, it's scary.  HE is there.  I know him, and He's shown me nothing but kindness and love.  A gentle hand.  I should be able to fly to Him with no reservation....but He is just incomprehensible.  I can't fathom His thoughts.  His plans.  I'm afraid.

But what are my options?  Sit in my darkness?  Starve?  Thirst?  Fear? I have can I use them in this cramped, dark place?  

So I hop tentatively to the edge.  I taste a bit of the sweet blessing there, on the edge.  I look at that face, and everything in me trembles with fear....instinctual survival....self preservation.

A quiet voice whispering love, a gentle hand....I am embraced and carried into the light and my whole future opens wide.  Bright light and fresh air and a future more beautiful that I could have imagined while in that familiar dark place.

My wings....something in my wings....itching to be what I was created to be.  As I take flight, I can't help but think of how it was so worth it to take the chance.  

To choose faith over fear.  
To take a step toward that incomprehensible hand of blessing....that is so powerful and capable to destroy.
To choose light over darkness.  


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