On our early morning walk with our dogs yesterday, at 5am to avoid the scorching heat, Katie found a baby bird sitting quietly in grass long enough to be over her head.
This baby sparrow wasn’t moving and didn’t make a sound. We wouldn’t have seen her if Katie had not.
She must’ve fallen from a tree bordering the path we were walking. We couldn’t see a nest.
But even if we had, we couldn’t touch the baby bird to put it somewhere safer. Our touch might’ve stopped the mother bird from rescuing her fallen chick.
It reminded me of times I’ve been afraid to reach out and touch someone I know who’s fallen.
Fallen off the wagon and back into addiction.
Fallen from the ranks of the employed. Fallen from a failed marriage. Fallen into shattered self-esteem and hopelessness.
I don’t know how to help. I don’t know what to say, afraid — as I was with the baby bird — that I may make things worse.
Maybe I should reach out and admit my self-doubt and concern?
At least let the other person know I see them and want to help, even if only by sitting and listening.
I want to help them find a safer spot.
You can be certain that the fallen are part of your listening group today.
Do you ever think about that, about them?
The question is, how do you help them find a safer spot?
Maybe it’s a release from their stress and grief and loneliness, even if only for a few minutes.
Maybe you can reawaken their hope.
It’s got to be more effective if they know you. I mean, feel they know you. That you, as a person, are a friend, someone who shares hopes and dreams — and stumbles — as close friends will do.
Remember this insight from Alphonse de LAMARTINE because it’s true: “The people only understand what they can feel; the only orators that can affect them are those who move them.”
Sometimes, in the still of predawn, alone, in the mountains or on a secluded beach, I can hear her, my mother.
It’s her birthday tomorrow. She would be 95.
She had such a beautiful singing voice.
Right now, if I close my eyes, I can take myself way, way back, to my childhood, in Malaysia.
I can hear my mother singing, “His eye is on the sparrow, so I know He watches me…”
It’s always been comforting.
Thinking of her, in the hours before her birthday, I can hear my mom’s voice right now. I wish you could too. It might comfort you.
A lot of us need comforting right now.
Miss you, mom! And I love you very much.