You know I love books, so when my friend Kim posted on Facebook at the beginning of the year the best book she’d read in 2013 was Consider the Birds by Debbie Blue I sought it out. Almost immediately. I respect Kim’s opinion and the book looked intriguing.
A provocative guide to Birds of the Bible.
This will go on my fav books of 2014. The biggest gift this book offered me was the reminder to slow down and pay attention. Are there really enough birds mentioned in the Bible to warrant a book? A book that isn’t tedious and trying too hard? Do birds mentioned in the Bible have that much to offer us?
Even especially those of us who are non-birders?
Yes, yes, yes. Though a book about birds, it’s really about the life of faith.
As a brief sample, the first chapter is about the pigeon — purity and impurity. Chapter three (one of my favorites) is about the quail –desire and slavery. And the last chapter, chapter 10, on the raven — failure and trust.
It turns out humans are more like ravens than other types of birds. I loved the way she ended the chapter and the book:
“It’s one thing to believe God feeds the little pretty birds of the air. They have small appetites. They need a few seeds. Everybody loves them. It’s not that much to feed. They do not seem needy. But what if you’re ravenous?
“Is the hope that God will feed you as long as you’re not that hungry, as long as you don’t need that much? God will feed you sure — if you have the appetite of a little dove, as long as all you need is seeds, dry little seeds? The hope is not so proscribed.
“God feeds the ravens, the ravenous, the mixed-up greedy glutton carrion eater. That’s saying a lot more, somehow — something more shocking, maybe than God’s willing to give bird food to light eaters. And how much more will God feed us? We need a lot. A lot of food and attention and love and healing. The world needs a lot. And I don’t think I usually believe that God will feed us all. Jesus seems crazy here to me, unreliable, like, how can we even listen to him here? How can we model ourselves on the raven, like the lilies — it’s lunacy to ask us to believe we will be fed.
” What if we could trust that we will be fed?”
She nails it, doesn’t she? I think most of us believe that if we have nice, dainty, reasonable appetites when it comes to purpose, relationships, our physical bodies, even provisions we want, if we keep them small and non-imposing enough we can expect to be “fed”/ heard.
We have been formed by the messages we receive from the world about how to make friends and influence people, how to put our best food forward. But being in relationship with God isn’t like going on a first date, we don’t have to monitor how much is on our plates, how generous we are with the tip, how interesting we may appear.
Sure, God likes the those parts of us too, but part of trust is that he can handle and respond in love to ALL the parts of us. The shiny parts that clean up well and the parts that we are too exhausted or worn down or depressed to care. What if we could trust that we will be fed?
I read this chapter earlier in the year and it was only recently in telling someone about the book and flipping through it I thought about ravens in light of my word for the year, trust.
This month, the lesson trust has offered me is the raven. Mathew says “consider the birds,” Luke says “consider the ravens.” This month I have been.
How hard is it for you to trust you will be fed?
P.S. Thanks Kim for the recommendation! And for those who love a good forward, this one is written by Lauren Winner!
Here’s the deal for the link-up:
- Every third Tuesday I’ll host a link up. Trust + Tuesday + Third = three T’s and I don’t have to mark my calendar with different dates! Just remember TTT. The next one will be on July 24th and you can get more details here. The link up will be open for one week, after one week, you’ll need to wait until the next month.
- Please link back the link-up, either by using the Trusting Tuesday picture or simply a text link.
- I’ve also started a Pinterest Oneword365 board and want it to be a community board (meaning let’s have our Oneword365 posts all in one place!). Check it out!
- If you miss a month, don’t beat yourself up. This will go on for the next twelve months and isn’t meant to overload you or make you feel guilty. We’re going to be a group of cheerleaders.