The Bird in the Mist (1)

The Bird in the Mist (1)

Before everything

When emptiness was waiting to be filled, and

Nothingness was silent in the formless deep,

The Spirit of God flutters over the thick eggshell of the watery abyss.

A songbird hovering over her brood to come,

God waits until the right moment to sing a universe into being

And take it, all of it, under His wing,

The wings of the Dove.

Have you ever sat in a little fishing boat on a quiet lake early in the morning? The spindrift is thick, just hanging there suspended over the water, an expansive cloudy curtain shrouding everything in mystery. And then suddenly a bird cuts through the fog and makes a grand entrance, a startling and dramatic surprise, and then it disappears again. In and out. Seen and unseen. In awe you almost tip the boat over as the bird enjoys the mystery, waiting for the day to begin in all its glory. I wonder if the world’s first day was something like that, the holy Dove soaring in and out of the thick watery mist, alert and carefree, preparing for the new life about to burst forth.

But I have found that the mist continues to come and go, perhaps not the same watery cloud as the primordial one, but a cloud nonetheless. In our own brokenness, confusion, or life circumstance, we often wander inside a type of cloud, don’t we? Our shortcomings and difficulties like a personal fog machine, we lose our way. But the poet-prophet Isaiah reminds us of our Creator’s grace by speaking Yahweh’s words… “I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 44:21-22). Yes! We can see a little of what redemption looks like now. The holy wind has made our cloud disappear, whether self-inflicted or not. The sun has risen with healing in its wings, and mercy has covered over a multitude of sins and life challenges.

And yet, we are double-graced, are we not? Yes, He indeed sweeps away our guilt and guides us back home to Him. But we also discover that this bird, the original brooder before time began, has been with us the whole time in the mist, our constant companion all along, floating in and out of our cloud of humanness, circling around us in hidden, humble love. Sometimes he disappears and seems to tarry unseen. Then He appears again. Faith believes He has been there all along, whether we see Him or not. We trust that the wings of grace have been giving us shelter in our shadows, unbeknownst to us. The Dove has never flown away! Unbalanced in our boat, grace in flight gladdens us again, darting through the fog, warming the frozen waters of our heart until new life begins to form. With eyes to see, with profound relief, and through His personal self-revelation, we gratefully smile at the bird in the mist, who has never stopped taking us under His wing.

2 Replies to “The Bird in the Mist (1)”

  1. I grew up near a cove of a river. This description is “picture perfect.” Many early mornings I nestled there, alone in the spindrift and the beautiful serenity.