• Erica Rosi Tham

Bird Room Meditations on Discovering Christianity

In Bird Room Meditations, I discuss the major points of Christianity in an intellectual and fun way in order to provide a new lens through which people can view important and life-changing concepts. I hope to challenge skeptics. I also hope that Christians will gain some interesting talking points that they can share with friends and family.

This unusual lens is my bird room, a space for small finches and canaries that I created many years ago, a place that has been my living Allegory of the Cave, Plato’s famous work on the limitations of human perception. In a time when we are being actively influenced through popular media to turn away from Christianity, we can focus on this simple analogy: as animals relate to and understand who we are, we relate to and understand who God is.

What is your pet’s understanding of you, all the things in your home, your laptop, your smartphone and what you do with your time? When you see a beautiful landscape or ocean view, do you feel humbled? We can recognize how abundantly possible God’s existence is through these two points alone. From here, of course, there are many questions about the specifics of Christianity, and in the essays that follow, I utilize perception to help people understand the concept of sin, the fallen world and the life of Jesus.

If you are new to the faith or returning after some time away (I became agnostic for many years myself), I hope these meditations will serve to inspire you on your great journey into healing, hope and life.

Here on my adoption blog, I am sharing this as a work in progress. The following are the first three short essays in my series:

How a Bird Room Can Help with Understanding God—introduces the idea of perception and describes my own departure and return to the faith

Perception and our Choice to Be with God—discusses perception in detail and also the limitations in perception of the people we know, a key reason why many leave the faith

Asking God to Come into Your Life—compares the birds who are close to me with those who are not, a meditation on how much safer and less fearful we become when we choose a relationship with God

How a Bird Room can Help with Understanding God

It’s 6:30am in Seattle’s wintertime, and sunrise will not begin for half an hour. I awake remembering the shadows of recent dreams, shake them away and groggily make my way to the kitchen for a light breakfast of yogurt and blueberries followed by a giant cup of coffee. I love coffee. I am getting too old for caffeine, but I can still handle one caffeinated cup before switching to decaf. I stash my phone in my bathrobe pocket and head downstairs, coffee mug in hand.

As we happen to live in front of a gorge, our front door leads to the upstairs, and we go downstairs to reach our second floor.

I open the door to my bird room and begin chatting with them as I switch on the two standing lamps. The society finches immediately dart out of their communal nests and fly to a windowsill. One of the zebra finches chirps loudly and is followed by the others in a sudden burst of vocal identity. The canaries, all are older just now, simply watch with interest as I grab a bag full of old clothes, jute twain and cotton and place it next to where I sit. I also place my computer, my phone and coffee mug on the floor as I sit down. I find a song on my phone, play it, and start throwing little bits of cotton, string, twine, pieces of old socks or shirts—anything in the bag—to one side.

That is how every day begins for me.

What is a bird room?

There is the tangible room with a slew of pet-friendly logistics, and then there is the intangible room, the refuge that developed from certain desires within me and which teaches me, every single day, about perception. I believe that understanding perception is critical for some of us in understanding God. As we are all very different and infinitely complex within the unique experiences of our lives, I will not assert that we all need to know about perception. I simply believe that many of us can gain a deeper knowledge of God when we pay attention to our thoughts, particularly when we recognize the repetitive patterns that bounce off the walls of our immediate environments, both the physical and emotional, our neighborhoods, our families, the influencers who create movies and books, and our habits.

Though the room of each of our lives is much larger than that of my birds’ in square footage, it is still a limited space. Most of us will not tour every continent, much less every country; we can walk, run or hike every weekend and only cover limited ground. Every home in every neighborhood is a unique world in itself, and how many will we visit?

The Tangible Room

Well, let’s get back to the tangible room. I’d like you to envision it.

Three levels are required, the floor, a mid-level and the high perches. It is easiest to care for a bird room if you line the floor with old sheets, tablecloths or tapestries. I often shop for tablecloths after Thanksgiving or Christmas—they have lovely colors and natural patterns like silhouettes of leaves. Then, for the mid-level, I use two card tables covered in cloths—on one I put their bowls of water and on the other, I put some vegetables. Over the years, I have discovered that when birds feel sick or when they become elderly, these mid-level spots decrease stress for them. I also have a couple plant stands with bird ladders to help any that lose their flying ability. That is level 2. And at last, we need the highest level where the birds can perch and look down at the world. For this I put hooks in the ceiling and from these attach bungee cords (think indoor phone lines), various perches and hanging nests. While it would be nice to provide actual trees, I have discovered that potted plants sometimes bring mites, and plastic plants are too hard to clean.

My room also happened to be a former bedroom with a closet, and this closet has become the nesting area for the majority of the zebra finches. They build their homes inside pre-made wicker nests available at any pet store, and some of the serious builders choose their own spaces and build from scratch.

Even though the room is in the downstairs area of our house, it gets excellent sunlight through two large windows, one facing south and the other west.

As to the birds, I have about 25 in total and four species: zebra finches, society finches, canaries, and one very old diamond dove. All are easy to find at your local pet store.

I have learned much about zebra finches and society finches over the years, and I am saddened to imagine those who live in small cages. Zebra finches can be master builders capable of two-door, elaborate nests, and when they have babies, they prefer a second nest for the juvenile stage. None of this has a chance of happening in a small cage. My society finches are not brilliant builders, but they are great flyers. Every morning, the flock, about eight birds, flies from one end of the room to the other as a group, and they do this repeatedly, seeming to gain energy from each other and the challenge of group flight. In the pet stores, the lifespans of these birds are 3-4 years. In my room, they live 5-6 years with an occasional centenarian (in respective time).

The canaries are the philosophers in my space. With their natural privilege as the largest birds, aside from the dove, they tend to perch above the fray, some of them lightly singing. Did you know that female canaries can sing? At least half of my females have taken up singing during one phase of their lives. Out of the blue, they suddenly discover their vocal cords and amuse themselves practicing for days or weeks.

The Intangible Room

By now, some of you are asking yourselves how on earth I was inspired to create this space, and the answers will steer us back toward the intangible.

As a college student, I had a canary in a cage, but I left the door of the cage open so that he could fly about the room. In my late twenties, I bought my first zebra finches and soon discovered how prolific they are as parents. They lay eggs all year round, and these hatch every fourteen days if they are not taken away. Through them, I stumbled into my early adventures as a bird room keeper. I was unmarried, moved frequently at that time of my life, and usually I did not have a separate room for them. Instead, I created dividing walls which mostly kept them on one side of one room. Admittedly, it was a silly living arrangement, but I loved them and was determined to find a way.

My life took a profound turn when I gained work as an English language teacher at a refugee resettlement office in Seattle. This office assisted refugees primarily from Somalia, Ethiopia and Vietnam in renting apartments, learning English, and finding employment. I had a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Creative Writing, and I had not planned on becoming an English language teacher. However, I discovered that I loved meeting people from other countries, and I was intrigued by the challenge of teaching them English without being bilingual. That’s another story in itself. Here, I wish to share what this work did for me spiritually.

I was raised Christian but became agnostic due to my own youthful uncertainties on some of the big questions: why many religions, why suffering, how can anyone be condemned. I also fell under the influence of the artistic community, and I consciously and unconsciously absorbed some ideas that I would now say intentionally mislead people and suppress religion: that Christians are not open-minded and those who are not open-minded are not intelligent, that Christianity is a religion based in guilt, and that living a disciplined life is antithetical to being an artist. Like so many, I found solace in Buddhism and meditation.

And then came my refugee work. The office was located in the basement of an Episcopal Church, and the moment I walked in, I felt that the place was warm and inviting. In no time, I was teaching classes to elderly farmers, mostly Muslim, who would kindly ask me if I was Christian, and I would say yes. I had not even decided to return to Christianity yet, but I was so shocked by this question—a question that our society has been learning not to ask—and also because they felt like grandparents; I admit I wanted their approval. Ironic, isn’t it? I saw Muslim people praying devoutly every day at noon, and I did not want to tell them that I had only a vague and undefined belief in God, if even that.

My complete return to the Christian faith took more time, but meanwhile, I was learning much about the facets of life I had taken for granted and the concept of refuge. Few of us realize how fortunate we are to have a state to call our own. People who have no state have no right to property and exist with a constant level of vulnerability that we cannot imagine. Most refugees reach that point after a diaspora, a genocide event, and this means that all have lost multiple family members and high numbers of women have been raped. Day after day, I learned more about these people, and simultaneously, I was gifted with the realization that far more than English, they needed a refuge. As a result, I concentrated not on teaching, but on serving, and on providing fun moments every day with songs and games.

My classes at this office became very successful, growing from ten students a day to sixty a day, a program that was barely funded to the most well-funded program in our office. Such things happen when God intervenes.

My personal life at this time was far less fortunate. I was living with a boyfriend I loved who was an artist pushing me toward all the ideas I mentioned before. He had drastic mood swings, may have been bipolar, and was himself a victim of the idea that great artists are chaotic and do whatever they want—an idea that quite literally destroys true love. I was in constant conflict within myself, easily seeing how much more comfortable I felt with my students than with him, and yet unable to leave him for four years. Where were my birds? Well, they were there all along, on one side of a room, accepted as part of a quirky, artistic lifestyle. When at last I did leave him, I found myself alone in an apartment, emotionally exhausted; it was just my birds and me.

During the next six months, I concentrated on my refugee office work, on starting my own tutoring business and on healing my inner self. My birds, at last, had a room of their own, and I was learning more about them and how to facilitate their health and happiness. My ritual of sitting with them while drinking my morning coffee began. It was not an easy time in my life. I had never imagined that my first love would not become my husband, and the rigors of social service, the constant funding difficulties along with the burden of managing an ever-growing program took a daily toll. However, one growing thought stayed with me and guided me. I thought, if my life has to be hard, I can create a refuge for these birds. I can help them to have easier lives than mine.

That was another gift from God. Just as the refugee program became successful, my birds began to truly flourish, and my bird room became a refuge for me as well.

On the intangible level, this room began with a naïve love of animals, and it became a place of hope after I saw my hopes dashed and subsequently learned that hope is not just a quick desire for something one wants; it is an active and ongoing decision to create a better world for others. And as this transformation was occurring in me, I began to see how my birds saw their lives.

Until you have really observed birds for a period of time, you will not know how much some are inspired by nest-building or, conversely, uninspired by building—the bird with the sloppy nest—how exacting some are in their hygiene, how endlessly driven are some canaries to sing, how flying in groups is a difficult skill to master, how most have a natural desire for friends or mates who will preen the backs of their heads, how some are drawn to sick birds and spend hours standing near them, how an old, blind bird can learn to live with the disability. The bottom line is this: they have complex, active lives, and they are thoroughly absorbed in them, just like us.

Fifteen years have passed since that hard and bleak time of rebuilding my life, starting with my bird room. I found my true love in a man from northeast India who was born into one of the few Christian communities in that country, and we have enjoyed twelve years together thus far. We moved into a home that had a spacious room with plenty of light for the birds. Every morning, I have sat here, and I often sit with them when I work on my laptop in the afternoon; they help me to divert my eyes from the screen.

In the coming essays, I will share thoughts about perception, my bird room, and the most important Christian principles. I am not a preacher, just an ordinary person, but I do have fifteen years of experience in contemplating perception and how we live within the rooms of our lives. I wish to show that the fundamental values of Christianity are not close-minded, based on the principle of guilt or unintellectual. They are simply necessary to God’s purpose which is to change people’s lives one day at a time. Welcome to the bird room.

Perception and Our Choice to be with God

To truly understand perception, we need to look beyond what we see, hear, feel and touch. In fact, we need to ask ourselves what we do not see, hear, feel and touch. In order to do that, we need a little help, in this case from a bird room.

While none of us can easily understand what we do not perceive, all of us can imagine what my birds cannot perceive.

Clearly, they have no understanding of most types of weather: rain, wind, snow or significant changes in temperature. They do not know how to find food in nature. They have some instinctual understanding that large birds can be predators, but little knowledge of how they would fit into the overall bird hierarchy beyond the window. Additionally, they are unaware of how of all the other animals, cats, dogs, raccoons, people (besides me) or squirrels might be dangerous as well as helpful; some are predators while others might dig into the soil and unearth a worm or some bugs. All of these aspects of life beyond the window are outside of the birds’ perception.

Why is this important to an understanding of Christianity?

For me, there are two key reasons: 1. Understanding our limitations in perception can open us up to the possibilities of God. 2. Understanding our fellow humans’ limitations in perception is critical to remaining on track in our journey with God.

Our Limitations in Perception

A comparison between a domestic zebra finch and a human being is not only amusing; it has some intriguing correlations. I am choosing just one species from my room to keep it simple. Zebra finches live in close communities, and their daily lives are busy. They love a nice home and spend considerable time upgrading with any available materials; they bath frequently and have high standards for their feathers. When enthusiastic about good food or a great piece of twine, they become territorial and drive others away—usually those who are smaller than they are. These moments are rare because they live, by nature, very community-based lives. Bathing and dining are always done in groups with easy sharing among them and a lot of amiable chatter. Zebra finches are plucky; if they feel sick, they try to hide it, and if they become very ill, they persevere as long as they can expecting no favors, though old friends usually hang out with those who are sick. When they have babies, life flies by in a whirl of endless feeding and attempts to convince the baby birds to perch in safe places and to learn through example.

The world beyond the window is fairly quiet. They hear windchimes from a source they do not know, see juncos, robins, blue jays, and hummingbirds, not to mention our resident squirrels, and they see differences in the sky and land, the presence or absence of clouds, the arrival of flowers and the autumn leaves. Yet they do not associate moving clouds with wind or a change in season. The greatest benefit of the world beyond the room is the warm sunshine in which they bask, especially when elderly or sick.

We live our day to day lives utterly preoccupied with our homes, our immediate survival needs and the people within our families and communities. The spiritual world, the world of God, seems like a quiet place beyond the window of our lives. The simple truth that animals teach us is this: we are all, humans and animals, subject to the confines of the bodies and minds with which we view the world. As my zebra finch does not have a true concept or experience with a tree or with snow, there is a higher reality beyond our world which we can glimpse only in prayer, meditation and especially in miracles.

What does this mean for us? Are we stuck here with our perception as it is—are we doomed to never perceive what a human being is unable to understand?

Not at all. Rather, getting clear about perception is a starting point. When we choose to admit what we do not have and what we cannot do for ourselves, we open the door to God. As Christians, we believe that God is our Father who wants us to return to Him and who helps us along the way. We need Him help to begin to see that amazing, complex, now strangely quiet and distant world beyond the window.

Some people feel uncomfortable with the word Father or with the capital He used in Christian writing. This discomfort can come from an ideology or because a man has caused us pain: a father, a brother, a boyfriend or a husband. And yet, as we will see moving forward, making choices based on what others say or do is unwise. If these words bother you, search your heart for the answer.

The Limitations of the People We Know

There is a very fine balance between seeking and providing support in others and remaining independent enough to think for ourselves and to have our own personal relationship with God.

As do the birds within the bird room, we strongly need our family and community members. It’s healthy for us to chat and sing together, to eat together, to “nest” together and to have kids together. It is also healthy for us spiritually to gather and to pray together. However, we do make a mistake when we forget that those around us share our limitations in perception. Some are wiser than us, some less wise, but we are all, essentially, in the limited rooms of our lives.

I provide English language training, and my teaching is secular in nature, though I have had a few students who were outspoken Christians. One of these, a doctor from China, stunned me one day during conversation practice. She had been discussing the benefits of Christianity, and I asked her this question which had been on my mind: when people leave Christianity, what do you think causes this? She answered: the hypocrisy of Christians.

I felt sure that she was absolutely right.

You may ask, how can people like my student and I continue to believe in Christianity when Christians are hypocritical?

Well, isn’t it true that everyone is a hypocrite on one day or another? Have you never given advice while your conscience said no, you would not actually do what you advised? It is infinitely easier to sound like a sage than to live like one.

And there are many causes of hypocrisy, not all bad. Sometimes, it is the result of being too idealistic and advising others to live better lives than we can live by example. Sometimes it is the result of a midlife crisis; people get a sudden craving for change and upset others while passing through an awkward phase. Sometimes, people just pretend to be Christians because they want to join a group or gain attention or because they are in a very early phase of their faith making many mistakes as they learn.

And yet, though I believe she was right that the hypocrisy of Christians is a leading cause of people leaving the faith, there is another enabling factor: the tendency we all share to blame another person when we feel lost and confused. It is part of our journey to meet with the big questions. Why do people suffer? Why does one person get rich while another gets diagnosed with a serious disease?

Reconciliation with such questions can take years of reflection and prayer, and meanwhile, many of us take the easy way out. We ask our parents or our ministers for the answers, and when we do not like their answers, doubt toward Christianity takes root in our minds.

But let’s return to the bird room because we have to ask ourselves why other people can be to blame for our choice to reject or abandon a religion which promises us the love of God and eternal life. Let’s examine a realistic avian scenario. Some birds are thieves; thievery certainly exists because the victims of thieves demonstrate territoriality and resentfulness. Let’s say one zebra finch steals a piece of twine from another. Now, because of that theft, the victim decides that I, the bird room keeper and daily producer of twine, cannot possibly exist because the thief believes that I do exist and yet chooses to steal. Hmmm. What did I do, exactly, to deserve a fate of nonexistence?

Now let’s take it one step further and personify these finches, just for fun. One Christian finch asks the other: Why is life unfair? Why do some birds live to be six and others die young? The other finch answers: Because God has a different plan for each of us. The first finch does not like the second finch’s answer very much—is this a good reason to leave the faith?

What if the second finch answered: because God tests some finches more than others. Is that a good reason?

How about: because God is a jealous God and we should fear Him.

Remember: all three answers came from a zebra finch in our analogy. Is it wise for one zebra finch to reject God because of something another zebra finch says or does?

We are all in the room.

This is highly fundamental in learning to steer one’s own course which includes developing one’s own personal relationship with God. The others in the room are there to inspire us, challenge us, help us survive, bring us joy, and to give us the safety of family and community. When we blame others for our disillusionment, is there not usually a cause within ourselves, a fear, failing or disappointment, that we are trying not to face?

Please, the next time a Christian, or a friend—or anyone—disappoints you or teaches you a Christian concept which seems wrong or which you do not like, remember that we are all in the room together, all running around (or hopping or flying), needing each other and yet needing also to be strong in ourselves. At times our friends or counselors will have opinions that help us, and at other times, we will need to reject their opinions. God requires us to return to Him, not to other people. Our communities assist us and we need their support, but they can never replace God.

Be still and listen. The world beyond the window awaits.

New Perception

At this time, the world beyond the window may seem not to exist, to be remote or to be beautiful and yet somewhat useless in everyday life. Will that world actually help you to get a job or become a better parent or reduce your anxiety? Will that world help you to find your spouse, avoid a divorce, buy a house or start a business?

Do the squirrels matter to my birds? Do the clouds or the rain matter?

God does help with our daily lives, though it takes time to realize this. First, we have to decide we need God. When we choose God, we are deciding that our souls are more important than the details of our lives, that we can, perhaps, be profoundly content in any situation if our soul is at peace. This is not to say we will be free of moodiness, especially since moods can be caused by physical ill health; however, there can be a part of us that feels, in any situation, that we will be all right.

I call it “the bright seed.” Even during my most troubling times, I feel the part of myself that stirs with life and love, and I think, that’s the bright seed.

We are all in the process of becoming in this life. The world beyond the window is the Kingdom of God and it does lie within us. As the birds feel it when perching on the windowsill, their natural instinct and destiny, we can feel the seed planted within us. We ask God to teach us, slowly, what rain really is, what snow really is, what wind really is, what sunlight really is.

The exciting part is that though our spouses, our jobs, our communities and our children are wonderfully important, there is a whole other world just waiting for us. We do not need Elon Musk’s space program to reach it. We only need to realize the limitations of where we are right now and how much we do not presently see. As we realize that, as we develop fuller comprehensions of that truth, we move intuitively toward our destiny with God.

Asking God to Come into Your Life

Previously, we contemplated perception and our limitations as human beings became abundantly clear. But how do we enter the world of Christian living? Do we start by reading the bible or attending a church? Since we are unable to see beyond our “room of perception” and we know that those around us are similarly limited, there is a crucial step we must take at the beginning of our Christian journey. We have to ask God to come into our lives.

This feels awkward to people at first, not unlike any entirely new situation. When we begin to pray and ask God to be present with us, to walk with us, to show us the way, we hardly know what we are doing, but it is important that we acknowledge our limitations and get to know God with God’s help. God has promised to be there for us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7

We need Him. The bible is complicated and easily misunderstood. Not every church follows the true path. In order to read the bible with eyes that can see and an open heart, we need God. Finding a good church can take several attempts, and we need God to show us which church, out of the many choices, will be best for us.

Start with prayer. Pray from your heart. Ask God to come into your life.

Being a keeper of a bird room is a lot different than caring for a parrot, a cat or a dog. Rather than directly bonding with a single animal, I tend to the needs of a small town. I keep the population at about 20 to 25 birds with most of these being very small ones, about an inch long.

Some of the birds choose to connect with me and some remain shy for most of their lives. Let me introduce you to a few of my closest friends.

Since I let the birds have babies, most are born in the room, but few are as interested in me from a young age as was Lively, a society finch (full of energy). From the beginning, she seemed to see me as a great aunt, a natural part of her family, and she is always observing me with a buoyant, curious manner. She loves to fly and likes to fly near to me and hang onto something from the side such that she looks like a flag; society finches are good at perching with their whole body off to one side, very light birds.

Then there is Master Builder, a zebra finch who loves building nests and is capable of building masterpieces, not just beautiful nests, but different types of nests. Sometimes he builds in one of the coconut-shell houses I hang from the ceiling and at other times he builds in spaces he chooses himself, such as the high-rise he constructed within a closet nook. His love of building brings him to my side every morning. I always reserve 5 or 10 minutes for placing some Spanish moss and cut up twine on the floor near where I sit, and Master Builder comes to retrieve the materials. If I forget to provide materials—which I may if distracted by work—he flies by me, lands on the floor where the materials usually are, and pecks at nothing while glancing at me hopefully. I certainly cannot resist him.

Saga is the mostly white bird second from right.

Saga is a male canary who sings beautifully and has a gentle nature. During his very young years, he was only interested in the other canaries, but he soon became a kind of philosophical presence in the room, one who watched me and all the bird room happenings and trilled out lovely songs with a natural ease. While most birds will meet my eyes only briefly, Saga’s eyes remain in mine. When I turn to him, he returns my gaze and seems to enjoy staying in my gaze indefinitely. I usually chat with him and tell him that I appreciate him very much, especially because his kind nature is so helpful to the other birds. He is a peacekeeper.

These are just a few of my besties.

What about those who stay far from me? Some are very shy from an early age and that does not change for years. About half are completely absorbed in their relationships with each other; I’m just the human who brings the food, changes the water and cleans. Occasionally, a bird behaves irritably when I begin cleaning—how annoying that I interrupted their plans.

Of course, birds and human beings are very different, but I believe this analogy is interesting. Some birds show a genuine desire to be near me, and these birds get to live out their lives as birds—doing everything birds love to do—and they also enjoy a personal friendship with me, their keeper. I can tell you without reservation that all of the birds who spend time meeting my eyes, flying by me playfully or enjoying their aspirations with me (the builders) are more content than the other birds. They are not as prone to fear and anxiety, and there is a sense of confidence and peace in them. I can easily see this in their eyes and also in their behaviors.

Birds exist as a group, and they scare easily. In nature, the greatest threat to small birds is birds of prey, and for this reason, any swift passing shadow can send the whole group flying for cover. Frightened birds press their feathers tightly against their bodies while relaxed birds keep their feathers loose and playful birds lift the feathers on their heads. In this way, whenever the birds are startled, I see which ones hold onto fear the longest and which ones easily let go of their fear. Those who make friends with me have something to rely on besides their instincts and their relatives, and I am pretty good at keeping the hawks and cats away with the walls and windows of the room I chose for them. I’m good with temperature control. And I’m generous with special seeds and vegetables.

In life, we have a simple choice—to do our best on our own with some advice from relatives and friends or to ask God to be present with us and to walk with us. If you know about Christianity already and are returning, you may prefer to pray to Jesus. We will explore the life of Jesus in the essays to come and also the idea of the trinity which is the oneness of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. For now, I encourage you to take the first step by asking God to come into your life.

There is no need to live life on terms you define for yourself, as your Keeper has been near you all along. If you think about those days when an especially loving moment in your family touched your heart or when you were awed and moved by the grandeur of nature, you will know that God is truly present and available to us. Those moments do not have to be fleeting. As my friend Saga connects with me, we can rest in the eyes of God for as often and as long as we choose.

When birds become elderly, like us, they slow down and start making flying mistakes such as missing a perch and landing on the floor. At that time, those who had not approached me in the past begin to observe me carefully, maybe instinctively realizing they might need my help one day. And very sick birds become tame; in their final days, they lose all sense of fight or flight.

It’s an interesting parallel. Many of us are so involved in our families, our jobs and our hobbies, we do not pause to get to know God for years. If we become sick or find ourselves getting older, we start to ask ourselves, who is that caretaker over there? Should I get to know Him? And when we recognize the imminence of our mortality, our sense of what is most important changes utterly.

God will answer our call regardless of how long we wait, but what a shame to lose even one more day of peace and security in His presence. There is a bright seed inside you, and it is ready to spring to life.

Knock on the door!

Erica Rosi Tham

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