Posted in Life, music

I love the sound of the birds

Photo by Sreenivas on Unsplash

I hear their singing before the sky begins to lighten. The birds are awake, welcoming the dawn. I love to hear their voices.

Their song is joyful. Some people hate the morning. But obviously the birds love it. It’s like they couldn’t wait for the faintest brightness on the horizon to start singing.

I feel joy when I hear their song. Maybe that’s part of the reason I love the morning so much. I don’t know why they are singing. I don’t know what they are singing about. I don’t recognize the tune. But they sing it over and over again, and each time they do, it makes me feel good. It reaches a place in my head that releases some kind of happiness into my soul.

Some of the songs are so simple. A single note, over and over again. Some songs are choruses repeated again and again. Some melodies are complex. When I’m out on a walk, I’ll sometimes whistle to imitate a bird song. I’m not very good at it. But as we go back and forth, their joy becomes mine. Whether it’s true or not, I like to think we’ve got a little conversation going. I know, they are probably thinking, “You’re not a bird.” Just like the cows I moo at who chuckle in their heads, “Does he think he sounds like a cow?” If the owls haven’t yet gone to bed, I’ll hear them talking from one stand of trees to another. I’ll add my “hoo-hoo-hoo-hooo” to the conversation. I don’t think I’ve ever fooled them, though.

Their song is hopeful. Most bird song sounds optimistic to me. Somehow their song says, “It’s going to be a great day!” Even the doves, whose “whoo” sounds mournful, do it in a positive way. It’s a new day. It’s filled with possibilities. The birds just can’t help but sing about it.

From their vantage point, either up in a tree or flying in the air, they probably see the first rays of the rising sun before I do. Their song announces another chance to both live and love. No matter what happened yesterday, I’ve got another chance today. I’ve got a chance to do it better or a chance to keep up the good work.

Their song is alive. Creation was pretty quiet until God spoke and birds filled the sky. Suddenly, there were sounds above the trees and seas. Hawks screamed as they glided overhead. Crows cawed. The staccato brraattt of a woodpecker working on a tree filled the air. Ducks and geese added their quacks and honks. The creative voice of God made this world a noisy place!

That last paragraph reminded me of all the words we’ve created to describe the sounds of the birds. Tweet. Chirp. Squawk. Peep. Cock-a-doodle-doo. The land, water, and air are alive with the songs and sounds of birds, and I’m alive, too.

Posted in Ministry



Well, it was actually more like a “pop.” But it worked. I popped a plastic shopping bag filled with air and got the attention of the forty-some children who writhed on the floor at Good News Club today.

The lesson was on creation. I wonder how many of them had heard that the world began with a “bang” some billions of years ago? I wonder how many of them had heard the biblical account of creation? Some of them worshiped weekly with the families at churches in our community. Some have never been. As I taught a lesson I’ve read, studied, heard and discussed many times in my own lifetime, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to hear it for the first time — as a child or an adult.

What would they take home from this? What would stick in their minds? I know from experience that it’s totally unpredictable. Some might marvel at the creative power of God’s voice. It all happened when he spoke, “Let there be…” Others might grab onto God’s evaluation of his work: “It was good.” I hope that some were captivated by their personal connection to the creation. After all, we too were knitted together in our mother’s womb, and are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13,14).

Since I am so familiar with the story, I think I wrongly assume that everyone is. Even in the church, I believe many have forgotten their Creator, His creation, and their own place in that creation. Perhaps if we talked more about that, we would place greater value on the lives of other created people. Like people who look different than us. Or those who need someone to take care of them. Or those who are crying for help, for a chance, or for love.

The biblical account of creation has much to say to a world where climate change, racism and human lives are headline news. We were created to take care of this world and take care of each other. Science might have a lot of answers, but it doesn’t bring that message. Theology may not have all the answers, but it drives home that point. If this world is worth dying for, then it must be pretty important to God. You must be pretty important to God.

If we brought that to the table, maybe we would get somewhere when we talked about global warming, hunger and poverty, war and human rights, fair trade and economic justice, and war and peace.