The Wounded Bird

The baby bird was meant to fly, to stretch her wings far and soar. Her little birdie heart thumped a rhythm, steady and true. A rhythm to dance with the wind, to twirl with the clouds, to spin with the trees. Nobody taught her to fly. She just jumped from the nest one day, spread her wings, and…fell. But for a second she danced with the wind, so despite her injuries, she kept trying. The bird taught herself how to fly and flew with unmeasured joy.

Until they told her she was flying too high. Or too low. Or too fast. Or too slow. She did it all wrong, couldn’t she see how differently she flew from everyone else? So she flew lower. Then higher. Then slower. Then faster. She studied the other birds, imitating their flight. She marveled at the beauty of other birds – all their colors, wing spans, soft feathers! All of a sudden, she wondered if she had always been so plain. She didn’t dip and flip in the sky like the other birds, she flew strong and fast, pausing to dace with the clouds and the trees. She wasn’t flying right. Not like all the other birds.

The tiny bird stayed in her nest, her tiny heart breaking. Her wings had mended from all those earnest attempts at learning to fly, but hearts are harder to mend than wings, and hers felt cracked. After many days, her tears stopped rolling, and she could hear the beat of her heart again. It was faint, but the longer she listened the stronger it got. Steady and true. Strong, loving, fierce.

She sat in silence for a while, not flying and not crying, just listening. What a rhythm God had given her, she thought. Not a rhythm that was wrong, misfitting, or unlovely. No, her rhythm was none of those things. Her rhythm was unique and a little quirky, but it was beautifully melodic. Steady. Fragile. True. After many days of listening, her wings started itching to move, to dance to the beat. With deep breaths and unsteady legs, she rose from the nest. Her heartbeat strumming loudly in her ears, she flew. Tentatively at first, hoping nobody saw her. But then stronger, focusing on the beats of her heart, she flew stronger. Faster. Wilder. She danced with the wind, twirled with the clouds, spun with the trees. Joy and contentedness bubbled up in her chest, and she sang a song of freedom to her Creator. It was for her Creator that she flew, that she sang, that she danced, that she was.

She was meant to fly. To stretch her wings and soar. Her heart thumped a rhythm,  and it was to that rhythm that she flew. Steady and true, little bird. Steady and true.


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