It’s good to be back, to have an outlet where I can pour all these words out so that I can be filled again. Right now, I feel so full that I could burst. That’s what a blog is for me, a place to overflow the goodness of God. That’s what you’ll find here, me sharing insights and understanding the Spirit imparts through the infallible Word of God. In my journey of faith, I’ve discovered I can’t keep God’s wisdom to myself. It always finds a way to flow onto the page, whether through fiction or nonfiction writing.
For a season my words have been expressed through fiction work. I’ve known that was God’s direction for me. Just as I knew that then, I know now is the time to step back into blogging since a stream of ideas and imagery has cascaded over me in the past few days. That’s how Jesus seems to best guide me, by saturating me with words in streams and currents until I’m simply overflowing and in need of an outlet.
The portion of today’s title, Little Bird, has significant meaning for me. Two years ago I was in the midst of a nonfiction project, You. Are. Loved. After the conclusion of the book, the Lord laid on my heart several additional chapters that I offered as free supplemental material on the YouAreLovedBook.com website. In order to best share the background of Little Bird, I’m including an excerpt from the web chapter, Live in Reckless Service. For context, I was writing about Mary and Martha and how Jesus said that only one thing is necessary, and that Mary had chosen “the good part.”
At times I don’t feel heard. Hours are spent with me pouring out words onto pages. Much of what I do is technology based, online and behind the scenes, so I don’t actually see or hear a response. That leaves me feeling like I’m calling out and no one’s listening. Feelings lie, though, I know that.
In order to keep my heart in check, I have to continually ask: Am I singing just so people will listen, or am I singing for an audience of One? For me, it always has to come back to “just One thing”–Jesus and what He’s called me to do.
Recently, I was out on my back porch spending time with Him. A noise erupted, one that drew my eye outdoors. Here’s an entry from my journal that tells the story:
You just taught me a valuable lesson through a little bird. She landed on the railing of the deck, a tiny little thing. Then she let out a call so loud that I had to see her beak move to be sure such a loud voice came from such a small bird. Still she’s calling, this time from the tip top of the umbrella. Her message seems urgent as she turns this way and that way to call.
No one seems to be listening as she sits all alone. There are no crowds of birds and bees and butterflies gathered around and still she lifts her voice.
Other birds call in the distance, different messages than hers. She doesn’t seem to even notice, or if she does, their indifference doesn’t faze her. She keeps her message her own without trying to sound like all the other voices.
She has no idea that You and I sit behind her listening, with me learning from her freedom to be who she is and sing her own song.
She always, at least, has an audience of One.
Maybe she’s praising you, her Creator and Sustainer, for the beauty and peace of the morning.
Maybe she’s singing out of her gratitude of living here in this courtyard, a place of protection and provision.
When needed, she sings out. When not, she goes about her business of being a bird.
She stays in her lane, singing her song for the day.
My little bird, we’ll call her Mary, sings from her heart and allows nothing to stop her. No matter who’s listening or not, no matter that her song sounds different, she just sings. Her heart is filled with love for and gratitude toward her Creator. That’s her motivation.
Isn’t it incredible how God can use nature to speak to a discouraged heart? His message to me was simple: Keep singing, little bird, even when you don’t feel heard. That’s a little phrase that keeps coming to mind, spurring me on when I’m in a slump.
Do you need that same encouragement to keep singing? I know there are times you get your feelings hurt when you’re overlooked and undervalued. Even when your heart is in the right place, it’s never easy to keep running your race when discouraged. Paul gives good advice when he says, “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Two years later this message strikes me with even greater force: My voice matters. I may look and sound different than others and present the times in which we live in a different way than most, but I’m to keep singing, keep blasting a loud sound of alarm. I spent too many years undervaluing the gift of storytelling that God has given me. I don’t anymore. The one encouragement that completely turned me around was at a women’s event. I was to speak after a gifted teacher and was feeling the weight of that. I said to her, “But you’re such a great teacher.” Her eyes grew wide, and she said, “But, Lisa, you’re a storyteller. Jesus was a storyteller.”
Bam! That’s all it took. I am a storyteller. God made me that way. Now, with a little more maturity under my belt and a whole lot more understanding of His love for me, I can honestly say that I’m honored and amazed and excited to have been knit together in a similar fashion as Jesus. So here I am, an early bird chirping outside your window as day breaks, singing my song, “The King is coming! Time to prepare.”
All this to say: I won’t shut up. I won’t back down. I won’t fold. Instead, I’m doubling down my efforts. With all that’s happening in our world, with the understanding of Who will soon set out to get His bride, I suggest you wet your whistle and get to singing your own song, Little Bird. Or Big Bird, whichever you are. 😉
Watch for more to come.