WINDOW WITH A VIEW
By Cynthia Ruchti
Just beyond our bathroom window, Adam and Eve Barnswallow built a nest on top of a wooden shutter. As the season progressed, we watched the parents tend the nest and warm their eggs. Eventually little fluff-heads attached to massive, always-open beaks peeked over the edge of the nest.
When my then five-year-old granddaughter Grace was at our house one day, I took her by the hand to show her the incredible sight. Six now-adolescent barn swallow babies were crammed into a tiny mud-and-fiber nest. Grace took such delight in watching the mom fly back and forth with nubbins of insects for her children. We mocked their bird voices as we watched the beaks open and close.
And then it happened. One birdling got tired of the overcrowding and stepped out of the nest onto the top of the shutter. He clung there for a few minutes. Then, with a flourish that almost stopped our hearts, the baby took off flying!
Within a few minutes, they’d all left the nest except one lone holdout. I called him Fred. The scaredy cat. Grace asked why I named him Fred. I told her he looked like a Fred to me. She said, “At this point, Grammie, I think we should just call them birds.” We cheered and cajoled the babies. “Come on! You can do it! You can do it!” Despite our encouragement, Fred stayed put. The others came and went, reveling in their new freedom and the glorious discovery that they could eat while flying. Poor Fred. He didn’t know what he was missing. Sure, the nest was a lot more comfortable. But it held no possibility of adventure. And everyone he knew and loved was out there having fun…without him.
Eventually we left our bird-watching perch, overcome with the wonder of flight, of God’s grace in allowing us a front-row seat, and of sadness for Fred the Fearful. About an hour after Grace and the family left to go to their own nest, I took another look out the window. The nest was empty. Fred learned to fly! He was built to fly. He just didn’t know it at first.
We humans were built to fly, to soar, to dip, and dance in the skies of spiritual adventure. How sad if we stay too long in the nest, thinking that’s where the fun is.
PRAYER: Almighty God, King of all who fly, give me courage to leave the safety of my spiritual nest to soar with You.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles,” Isaiah 40:31a KJV.
Today’s devotional is by Cynthia Ruchti, writer and producer of the radio ministry THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME and current president of American Christian Fiction Writers. Cynthia’s debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home—releases from Abingdon Press in Spring 2010. Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark. www.cynthiaruchti.com