Grace Notes: Asking The Hard Question

By Debora Coty

One morning while staying with friends at their Alabama lake house, I felt my way in the darkness before dawn onto their dock to snag a photo of the sunrise.

I got there early – 5 a.m. early – granola bar in hand, camera ready, and waited. Patiently at first. Then … not so much.
Checking my smart phone, I learned sunrise wasn’t until 5:48. Aargh.

So I grumped around a bit, complained to the fish, argued with the turtles, did a few angry calisthenics and paced the dock. Oh well, at least I could drink in the early morning peace and quiet as the sky gradually lightened.

Suddenly, an incessant screeching noise assaulted the silence. I could barely see a black dot in the sky, but there it was off toward the east, circling high over the water, moving toward me until it was directly overhead. A bird just kept circling round and round unproductively for the longest time, squawking constantly.

I had nothing else to do but ponder: What was this crazy bird doing? Who was she shrieking to? What was she trying to accomplish? Nothing logical like fishing or scoping out breakfast – she flew way too high for that.

I could tell by her cry she was a swallow, but I’d never seen one so persistent. Or verbal. That silly bird kept it up – circling and screeching – for the next thirty minutes, ruining my peaceful sunrise experience.

When I finally got so annoyed I could spit, it hit me: Hey, that’s me up there. Papa God’s showing me a mirror of my worst self: going around and around in circles, getting nowhere, complaining the entire time. I had to laugh. Touche. It was so true.

How so like Him to use His marvelous creation to point out something I really need to work on: my complaining. My grousing. My squawking.
So okay. I get it. That’s my next goal. To become less of a grouse and not so hard to swallow. And I don’t mean the feathered kind.

“When I observed intently and considered, I saw … birds of the air.” (Acts 11:6 NKJV)