Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cardinal Lessons

There are two cardinals that live in the Lady Cigar tree in our neighbor's yard, one male and one female.

The kids have learned to identify their distinctive chirp. Even when we are hiking in the woods, they can point out the cardinals by their song.

I love to watch them fly about, settle on the fencepost, the deck, the edge of the pool. They are majestic, beautiful, striking... especially the male, with his bold red color.

I appreciate the confidence inherent in their feathers. They do not attempt to blend in, to hide themselves amidst the browns of the tree limbs. No, not the cardinals. These birds stand out. Their feathers brightly exclaim: "Here I am. I'm not afraid. Do you see how I stand out in the crowd?"

What lessons I can learn from these cardinals. I can learn to move freely in my skin, not to hide or try to change who I am. I can learn to stand firm when I stand out... especially when living this life means flying in the face of conventional society (through homeschooling, living our faith, etc). I can learn that there is grace and beauty in being who I am, just as God made me, that I don't need to make excuses as long as I am living this life through Him, with Him, and in Him.

I can learn that there is dignity in just being me.

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