You remember how I showed you the sweet little bird’s nest in my front door in the Spring? Well, last weekend I was taking down my front door arrangement and decided to clean out the nesting remnants, certain the birds had moved on to the Florida time share condo they “winter” in. And to my delighted surprise I discovered there was ANOTHER NEST!
All along, I was not housing one, but two little bird families. I had no idea as one had snuck in the far end of my arrangement, concealed by the other bird’s abundant nesting.
There are times when we just need to make a space for the vulnerable, the hurting, the small and hidden people in the world to join us in ours and make a nest of what they can find and feel safe. Let them take bits of grace and conversation; time spent in our kitchens and living rooms; open the circles we gather in at our churches and women’s groups…… and let them settle. Allow them freedom to move ever so slightly in, not drawing focus to their presence as often the wounded and vulnerable are easily frightened away by too much attention. Simply, quietly let them reside with us. Let them move in to community and fellowship at their own pace, but welcome them none the less.
I hear so many stories from adults that reference back to their childhoods or college years. Often they share painful experiences or memories of difficult and lonely times. And just as often they will tell me about that one person who had no idea what they were really going through, but without even knowing it, created a safe place for them to land in between battles. A neighbor who let them come eat dinner many evenings without asking questions about why no one else was at home to feed them. A teacher who offered to tutor them and give them a ride home from school. A friend’s parent who let them sleep over as often as they wanted. A church leader who said, you call anytime you need a ride or a safe place to be. Spaces to rest. To find glimpses of security. To feel safe.
You may never know how opening your life, creating margins of space and welcome impacted another person. Or you may find the remnants of an abandoned nest years later when they gained the strength to fly.