I’ve just returned from my second weekend intensive in spiritual director training with The Haden Institute. I’m grateful for time apart to learn, to be fed, to not be in charge of something, but, instead, to be fed spiritually.
There is a sacred space at the intensive that is just for creative expression and processing. I painted this piece in response to a Rumi quote that was shared in our morning meditation.
Out beyond the ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.
Feeding birds is a love I inherited from my parents and grandparents. We love the the birds — and especially the little wrens. They have such spunk, such personality. We wanted to make a home for them, so we bought them a little wren house and put it on the lower deck. Isn’t this a great home for a wren family?
This is their new bird bath — it’s heated. The birds sat around on the edge of the bird bath all winter. I imagined that they were wrapped in little towels pretending they were at the spa.
The wrens love the suet. They are so cute when they hang on the feeder.
We feed, exclusively, hot pepper suet (because the squirrels don’t like hot peppers). We get this at Home Depot.
Check out another new addition — a covered bird feeder. We got this to feed the bluebirds, but the wrens eat there too. (Actually, the bluebirds never came, so the wrens had it all to themselves.
Here’s what goes into the covered feeder — mealworms!! (Woo Hoo!!)
Yes, these are actually mealworms — here’s the bag they came in. They are dried mealworms, but you can make them look alive by putting oil on them. (Eeew!)
So, it’s the perfect place for a wren family to settle in — Right?
Nesting season came, and there was no wren nest in the box. Not the first week. Not the second week. Not the third week. 😦
I went over to Neighbor Deen’s house — and what did I find? I found my wrens had built next door at Deen’s house.
And not only had they built next door at Neighbor Deen’s house and not at our house. They built their nest on top of a string mop. (Ouch!! Rejection!!) Oh, well. That’s life.
We kept providing them food and water — because we love the birds — even if they rejected our beautiful, perfect little wren house on the lower deck.
After a few weeks, the eggs hatched. The nest fell apart as the little birds grew. Here they are all hunkered down just a couple of days before they fledged. You can see their dark feathers and little yellow beaks.
Thank God for the birds … especially the wrens. Do you have wrens nesting at your house? What’s the secret to becoming a wren landlord?
My friend, Abraham McIntyre, is working to bring healing to Haiti. The director of Bahamas Habitat, Abraham and his crew have been using social networking (both the new and the old kind), hard work, and creativity to fly medical supplies into the outlying areas of Haiti.
Bahamas Habitat normally works to build houses. But ever since the earthquake, Abraham and his volunteers have helped to facilitate evacuations out of Haiti and supply delivery into Haiti. As refugees leave Port-au-Prince and go to the countryside, the needs for medical relief there have increased.
Abraham’s always been a giver. A couple of years ago, I posted blog entries from him as he took his first year out of college and traveled around the world volunteering. He drove computer supplies to Belize, flew to the Bahamas to help fix up people’s houses, worked with homeless outreach in Atlanta. He ended up back in the Bahamas as the director of the program there. He has a knack at seeing needs and figuring out ways to meet them.
Ways to Help
Recruit donations of medical supplies
Identify small airplanes which are available to assist
Donate money to help purchase fuel for the flights
I seem to be overwhelmed a lot these days — but this time, it was with love. We’ve had an art festival at my church this past week — “Art on the Edge.” Over two dozen of us Edgehill UMC folks displayed some of our artwork at the church. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night, we had a reception and received musical gifts from some of our professional musicians.
Friday night, Barbara Bailey Hutchison performed. We finished up the evening with an auction of some of the pieces from the show. (Proceeds from the sales were going towards the “The Red Houses” — two houses we are purchasing for ministries with the neighborhood.)
I was sitting there at the auction when a mystery item was brought forth — it was sitting on an easel covered with a green cloth. The auctioneer (Pastor Judi) said that the item was a painting by Barbara Bailey Hutchison and that we would begin the bids without even seeing the item. “$100!” someone called out. And then, “$200!” The auctioneer said, “OK, now we’ll pause the bidding and see what it is. When the cloth was pulled off, I looked at it, blinked, twice, and thought, “Hey, that’s me.” While I was staring at me, my friend Jenni finished off the bidding — “$300!” “Sold!” cried Pastor-Auctioneer Judi.
I was still sitting there looking at the picture and feeling overwhelmed with love — by Barbara, by friends, by my family, the congregation of EUMC. What an amazing week — celebrating the Giver and the Gifts. (And raising a bit of money for The Red Houses — gifts of ministry for the Edgehill neighborhood.)