Seeing Yourself In A True Story
My youngest son Jacob rescued a baby bird the other day. He was biking home from school and discovered the injured little bird in the middle of the road.
Most likely the little bird had been booted out of the nest because it had enough feathers to fly, but wasn't doing it very well, and ended up in the middle of the road where it would have likely perished.
Jacob carried the bird home and found a bucket to put it in, and then he put a small tree branch, and paper towels in there, too. He moistened strips of turkey that looked like worms and fed the bird as well.
I found out that he'd gone on the internet to find out what to do with the little bird, and how to feed him. It was pretty impressive.
We later contacted a wildlife rescue organization and took the bird to them so that his foot could be treated, and he would be able to recover and return to the wild. Jacob was sad for a moment when he heard, but then he brightened as he began to think through it all.
You see, the story that my son will be able to tell is that unless he had shown compassion for one of God's tiny creatures, it would have undoubtedly died. He may not have fully realized why he was so happy in that moment, but I did.
He suddenly saw himself as a co-creator with God, full of kindness with a heart bent on mercy and goodness. He saw his true self.
There have been so many times in my life when I have struggled to see myself as God sees me---maybe you have as well. I want to believe that I am the kind of person that sows seeds of peace and love in the world, but there are so many moments when I find myself acting out of fear, and diminishing that goodness out of self-doubt and uncertainty.
I love what Fr. Richard Rohr wrote about this--it gives me incredible encouragement:
You are a child of God and you always will be, even when you don’t believe it.
May you live into your inherent goodness today and every day from this day. May you begin to see yourself as God sees you--created to create, created to bring shalom to the world.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.