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Home is where the "Feather" Is?

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Home is where the "Feather" Is? - February 11, 2006

"On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches." Ezekiel 17:23 (NIV)

After a blustery winter's day, I found half a bird's nest, fully intact, that had dropped from the rafters outside of our church. I remembered looking at it from a distance and was intrigued by the collection of "items" that were formed into this tightly-woven half circle.

I placed the nest in a plastic bag and took it home for further inspection. Wow, what an amazing and intriguing piece of handiwork this nest was! As I looked closely at the familiar and unfamiliar pieces that intertwined within, I was blown away at what I saw. Although the nest was cut in half by the storm, it was perfectly symmetrical. Tiny bits of branches, hay and dried grass were woven so tightly that I had to struggle to break it apart in order to inspect it more closely.

Inside, I found small strips of shredded newspaper, bits of colorful thread and a used tissue or two. There was some dryer lint, an old filter from a cigarette, some shards of wheat and a plastic straw wrapper from a juice box. I laughed at the array of objects that made this bird family a beautiful and perfect home, perhaps for many a year.

Then I saw the most interesting and personal effect in this pile of "homemade" furnishings. Inside the core of this nest were feathers, perhaps from the owners themselves. I thought of the personal sacrifice these mom and dad birds must have made to build this nest they would call home. I considered the pain they may have felt while pulling out each feather and laying it in place as a cushion within the foundation of their dwelling. It truly became a part of them, both physically and emotionally, and I started to wonder about my own home and what it reveals when anyone enters into it. There may be brightly-painted walls covered with homemade crafts and decorations, but what about the personal effects that lie within? Do they reflect who I truly am in Christ?

As I walked around my home, the love for my family is prominently displayed through the many pictures that hang on the walls. There are plaques, magnets and tapestries that have some of my favorite Scriptures written on them. On the towels in the guest bathroom is the word "Joy" surrounded by a bounty of red hearts. There are keepsakes from the many blessed retreats I have attended over the years and an abundance of angels that sit and stand everywhere.

I glanced toward my precious prayer chair in the bedroom surrounded by a pile of devotions and books upon which to dwell. I even noticed a small bird's nest sitting on my dining room hutch that I had forgotten was there. The most personal and prized possession I noticed was my assortment of Bibles. Some are now torn with pages of notes scribbled on them many times over, or they are dog-eared, just begging me to go back and re-read a particular Scripture. I realized at that moment, this truly is where my heart is and where I find home. In God's truth I find rest, peace, love, comfort and of course, His grace.

The next time you walk into your house, take a good look around to see what God sees. If you need to clean house a bit, then do it right away. In any case, always be sure to welcome and invite Him in to stay for the rest of your life, dust bunnies and all!

Contributed by Diane Check
 

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