Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Bird.

I am a bird. I try to fly alone, to sail throught the skies by myself. But my wings are broken. Sagging against the cold earth, I realize that flyinbg alone has only ever been a delusion.

For months now, I have felt numb, stagnant. When Engedi (aka: church camp) came onto the calendar, I started praying that it would be a refreshing time of spiritual revival. Although my prayer wasn't answered exactly as I wanted, I did come away from this past Engedi weekend awakened, face to face with myself as that broken-winged bird.

Ever since I was a kid, I've struggled with perfectionism. I remember freaking out when my sibligns sat on my bed and wrinkled the perfectly smoothed covers. I remember making my mom finish drawing my pictures so they would look right. I remember crying when plays I "directed" turned into catastrophes.

"You're panties are in a wad," my family has always sweetly told me. But I'm afriad it's more than that; I'm trying to be my own savior. And I keep failing.

Zach Van Dyke, the speaker at Engedi, said that obedience can distance us from God. As crazy as that sounds, look at the Pharisees--they upheld the law "perfectly," but when crowds gathered to hear Jesus speak, they stood on the outskirts. Sitting at the feet of Christ were the tax collectors, the sick, the children, the prostitutes.

During another session, Zach told the story of the adulterous woman the Pharisees threw at Jesus. After Christ challenged them by saying, "Let he who has never sinned be the first to throw a stone," they dropped their rocks and slinked away. They left to write more lists and obey more laws, to promise themselves they'd never do that again, that they'd be better, they'd be good. Had they remained with Jesus, they would have heard him tell the shamed woman he did not condemn her. With shocked stares, they would have watched Jesus stretch out his hand and help her up. They would have seen him love her, and they would have known he loved her not because she had done anything worthy, but because he was about to pay for her sins with his blood.
I am a Pharisee, an adulterous woman; I am sick and I am prideful: a sinner. I am a bird with broken wings. No matter how hard I try to save myself--to mend my wings--I keep falling back to the ground. Slowly, very slowly, I am learning to be still, to simply rest at the foot of the Cross and let Christ be my salvation. It is only on the wings of grace that I will ever fly.


  1. These are words for my soul - for the driven "doing" parts and for the fear that always hides behind that guise. For the pride that wears its cheap smile. For the sting of failure that leaves its residue on my record.

    Thanks for reminding me to sit in the sweet downpour of Grace.
    Glad I got to see you tonight. I love you!

  2. Of course we've been discussing this lately, and I was reading the fighter verse and it was really lovely to see Lamentations 3:26 "..it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."
    We always go to church camp thinking we will be exhorted to be "on fire for Jesus"; we go home thinking about all the things we're going to change and do better, instead of living in Jesus and waiting quietly for the salvation of the Lord, praying that God will work in us.

  3. Something you said reminded me of something i was thinking about today... wanting to fly.

  4. Tali,

    It's funny that I should read this today, even though you wrote it back in February. I was thinking that today. I have really always relied on myself and not on others. But not even them. I haven't been relying on God. Thanks for these words!