I was hanging out in our remote Smoky Mountain cabin one late spring morning, long before anyone else had risen. The rising sun had just slivered through the misty tree boughs and I’d cranked open the windows to breathe in the crisp morning air.

I love to play mountain music up there. You know the type of music I mean … dulcimer, banjo, mandolin, string bass – fast paced and fancy free. Good ole foot stompin’ stuff.

So I plugged in a CD called Hymns of the Smokies. I was putting my worship on, singing my heart out and getting my bad self down on the dance floor, er, I mean living room rug, when the choir arrived.

As soon as the first notes of Shall We Gather at the River rang out, birds of all kinds started gathering at the window by the CD player. Big birds, teensy birds, colorful and plain. They perched on branches, even on the windowsill itself, singing along with that worship music at the top of their little birdie lungs. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t been there.

They sang. I sang. We praised Papa God together. It was awesome.

I’ve no idea why they were attracted to that particular song, but when it ended, they took off for whatever it is mountain birds do in the mornings (besides church).

It tingles the toes of my soul to imagine that Papa’s creatures might actually do just that … church. In their own way, in their own language, in their own venues, far away from human eyes and ears.

And for my worship to have momentarily intersected with theirs is one of the greatest thrills of my life.

I just hope bear church is on another mountain.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,” Psalm 105:6 NASB.