The Wind Poem

 

It started as a breeze, gently moving loose strands of hair across my face. These common breezes rarely build so suddenly to a gale. Rather, they offer comfort to cool from hard work.

They sweep their hands across the grassy pastures making earth move like sea. Round leaves catch light and twinkle like gowns of sequence.

A light breeze chases away mosquitoes.

When the young fruit trees start to bend I wonder if I staked them well enough. I watch how flexible they are, dancing in the wind, bending low as they get jostled.

Seed heads of the milkweeds burst open, releasing hundreds of seeds into the sky.

So one day, after the breeze blew away the mosquitoes, and the young fruit trees were bending, I jumped into the wind with the milkweed seed.

I let the wind carry me where it wanted.

At first, I was terrified. then exhilarated. then apprehensive. then relieved. then terrified again.

The wind carried me away from my home and my land. Under my feet, flew birds. I looked down and realized that what I was doing was quite unnatural for a human.

Panic set in, my arms started flapping. Maybe I thought it was up to me to fly. But humans can’t fly. I wasn’t flying. I am not a bird.

As I fought the air current, I realized to my horror, that I had no control of the wind. It was stronger than me. It could smash me to the ground in an instant.

Suddenly, I was falling.

As I fell, I felt no breeze. The hair didn’t even tickle my face.

I cursed myself for being so foolish as to jump into the gale.

And then, I contemplated the irony of birds under my feet. So I laughed and readied myself for the end of me.

But I didn’t end.

The wind swooped me over the grassy pastures. We made waves over the earth as if it were sea.We wore gowns of twinkling leaves. And my feet never touched the ground again.

Not Knockin’, but I Am Challenging: Body Image Issues

1 Peter 3:3-4– “Your adornment must not be merely external…but let it be the hidden person of the heart…”

Heart in Greek is kardia. It refers to the imagination/morality/understanding of the mind. In Hebrew, the similar concept for heart is lebab. Deuteronomy 6:4 says “Love the LORD your God with all your heart (kol lebab), all your soul (kol nephesh), and all your strength (kol m’od). A word study on lebab/kardia reveals the heart is unique to humankind. Therefore, “the hidden person of the heart is also unique to humankind.

This matters to me because I struggle with body image. Like so many women, the external person of the physical body becomes an idol. It becomes the thing that matters most: exercise and you’ll be thinner, eat healthy and you’ll lose weight, wear that brand to make your butt look better, use this make-up and you’ll look sexier, spend a fortune on skincare so you look younger…

It’s a bombardment and assault on the heart. Over and over we are flooded with images and ideas that scream: YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH THE WAY GOD MADE YOU! DO THIS, USE THAT AND YOU CAN ACHIEVE GODLINESS…oh yeah…but it doesn’t involve God.

Sounds just like Genesis 3. The serpent assured woman that she would be more like God if she ate the fruit. But eating the fruit meant she could be like God, without God. “Made in the image of God” was not enough to be like God. Humankind chose idolatry: they chose something that would fill a need where they believed God would not.

1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds me that I am enough just the way I am. I am not enough because of anything I have done. I am enough because of what Jesus Christ ALREADY DID. My external body will fade and wither…but the inner person of my lebab/kardia will remain. That is who I want to invest in. She is who I can focus my beauty regime time/energy on.  

I am NOT KNOCKING any skincare folks or fitness gurus…just challenging my brothers and sisters in Christ to evaluate why. An idol is ANYTHING that we say, “yes…this will satisfy me where God does not.” Remember, the LORD God is our refuge and our strength.

Psalms 61:4 and Chicken Wings

Psalms 61:4

Let me dwell in your tent forever!

   Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah

 

How privileged I am to “dwell” with the Lord God. When I imagine the security, provision, and comfort of “dwelling” and “refuge under the shelter of your wings” I think of my chickens.

A broody hen will sit, devoted to her eggs for weeks. Anything or anyone who approaches is subject to a stern peck and clucky scolding. She puffs out her feathers and flattens her body over the brood. She sacrifices herself for the life of these babes. Some hens will not leave the nest for food or water (in those cases, I move her and the nest to a brooding cage with food and water where the other birds cannot bother her).

When the chicks hatch, she carefully gathers them under herself. She walks them around the barnyard, calling them back to her often as she teaches them to scratch for food and dip beaks to drink. I have witnessed mama hens chase away dogs and curious cats from their chicks. I have seen mama hens scurry their babies to the shelter of her wings when a hawk flies overhead. In fact, I have heard many stories of the hen even dying as she protects the chicks.

What is even more remarkable, is that a broody hen will hatch other birds and raise them as her own. I have had chickens hatch ducklings and turkeys. They love them just the same. I am comforted reflecting on this fact: I am adopted into the family of God through Christ, and He loves me just the same. Not by anything I did or could ever do.

An egg only sits in the nest. It seems almost like a rock, no sign of life. But when the egg is fertilized and receives heat and the right conditions take place, a heart starts beating. Like people who hear the Word, however, not all hearts keep beating. Some stop developing. I don’t know why. They just don’t thrive. Some die in the shell right when they should be hatching. Others hatch but are too weak and die. Then there are the eggs that hatch healthy chicks. They grow up and have their own chicks. Those chicks take shelter under wings.

This simple fact of creation binds me to the psalter: what he watched, I watch. His God is my God. That’s really something.