Of Birds, Chimneys and Prayers

Honestly, I felt pretty ridiculous standing there, singing to my wood stove.

But it had to be done.

Apparently a bird had managed to squeeze in under the chimney cap. And so, in one of the first signs of spring, he had flown down and was stuck in the stove  which, thankfully, was not being used. The bird would be calm for awhile, then start fluttering and pecking, trying to get out.

I tried talking softly to him to try to calm him; he was not impressed. Then, recalling my days of walking the floors with a sick infant, I sang softly. And, wonder of wonders, it calmed him down. (Well, either that, or he was too appalled to move.)

When Roger got home, we were able to let the bird out. It flew quickly away, soaring above the trees behind our house.

I’d felt sorry for the bird all day, but there really wasn’t anything I could do for it by myself. The bird might not have realized it, but there were two cats who were quite intrigued by the flapping and pecking noises coming from the normally noncommunicative stove. If I’d let the bird out, they would have been very interested in making his acquaintance.

On the other hand, the felines might have escaped the house while the door was open for the bird—not very safe for indoor cats, and I didn’t have a place to hold them for a prolonged time, in case the bird didn’t immediately leave. (This has happened before; apparently our loft is fascinating to feathered types.) We needed someone to deal with the cats while the other person helped the bird.

So while I could have helped, it mightn’t have been best, either for the bird or for the cats.

You get the analogy, right?

Sometimes we pray and pray, wondering whether God has lost interest and wandered off, or whether He perhaps wasn’t all that interested to begin with. Yet He sees our circumstances more clearly than we do while we’re in the middle of things.

So if you’ve been praying about something, but don’t seem to be getting any answers, take heart. It isn’t that God doesn’t hear or doesn’t care; it may well be that He’s watching out for dangers, problems or unintended consequences that you’re not seeing.

And if you listen very carefully, maybe–in the midst of your circumstances–you’ll hear Him sing.

I love the LORD because he hears and answers my prayers. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!

–Psalm 116:1-2, New Living Translation

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