Two parrots flew over my car this morning. At first, I didn't see them. But I sure heard them.
They're unmistakable with their loud, obnoxious squawks. There's nothing melodic or rhythmic about them - they screech and shriek. Every noise they make sounds angry and ugly and loud...very, very loud.
And I smile every time.
My head is immediately on a swivel searching for them with a big, goofy grin on my face. Because there is something oddly wonderful about these wild, highly communal interlopers taking over the city. As a non-native species, they have few predators here, so there are a lot of parrots. And I love them.
I stare at their bright green bodies constructed like surprisingly aerodynamic fire hydrants. In flight, their wings appear to beat much faster than their bodies move. They are not graceful. With their wide, rounded heads, stocky bodies and tail feathers that seem to have been cut a bit too short for the length of their bodies, it's a wonder they stay in the air at all.
They do not soar like eagles. They are not graceful like egrets. They are not beautiful like swans or clever like ravens.
But they bring joy simply by being what they innately are.
I watched the parrots fly out of sight this morning and marveled at the racket two birds could make.
And then it occurred to me, I'm a lot like a transplanted parrot.
Awkward and out of place, grating in my complaints and protestations, less than graceful, well-sheltered and fed, lacking in discernible rhythm, dependent on community, oblivious to my impact on others...and fully loved.
Somehow, some way, I bring a smile to God's face by being me. My existence brings Him joy because I am who He made me to be.
I imagine Him watching and listening to me, and grinning - "That one, that clumsy one with the noisy soul who's working a little too hard? She's mine. Someday she'll understand why I surrounded her with the people I did. Someday she'll be Home. But, right now, she's right where I want her."
Reprinted with permission from Kristen Hartman. She is a regular contributor to the Women's Ministries blog of First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, CA. She maintains a blog of her own and you can read more of Kristen's writing at www.lookingthroughme.com .