• Marnie Hammar

Lessons from Not Liking Birds


I don’t like birds. ⁠⠀

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It’s a whole long tale that goes back to when I was 5 and there was a crow stuck under a bucket in my sandbox. When you’re 5, and an angry (panicked) crow flies at you, it’s a thing. So yesterday, when two birds got stuck inside my garage (because they are completely convinced that they need to build a nest in someone’s soccer bag), my reaction was consistent with someone who was bird-traumatized in kindergarten.⁠⠀

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Surprisingly, and embarrassingly, this childhood experience reveals itself in my Bible study. When I read verses with words like “wings,” or “birds,” or “feathers,” my subconscious automatically skips that verse, skimming to the next bird-free verse it finds. It’s weird, I know. But “they shall mount up with wings like eagles,” (Isaiah 40:31, ESV) or “in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,” (Psalm 57:1, ESV), while encouraging verses, will never make onto my lock screen.⁠⠀

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I admit this because, if we’re all honest, don’t we all have verses we don’t like? Are there parts of His word that you prefer to just skim over? Like maybe, “count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2, ESV)?⁠⠀

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But God has a sense of humor. He calls me out, time and again, with this bird thing. He repeatedly teaches me lessons through these flying creatures; He tucks learnings into small moments that unfold before me—the hawk that soars overhead; a dancing flock of migrating birds; the singing of the birds in winter; a bird’s nest tucked safely while overhanging the road; even two scared birds trapped in my garage. ⁠⠀

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He’s showing me that there is good even in things I fear. Worth even in things I don’t like. Value in things I want to avoid. This applies to birds, yes, but also to “trials of various kinds,” doesn’t it?⁠⠀


Read the rest at The Joyful Life Magazine.

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