One day last week, ENan and I were eating lunch on our back porch when we heard some loud squawking going on. We looked out onto our deck and saw two small birds chasing each other back and forth, all the while chirping loudly. Because we don’t speak bird, we couldn’t tell if their conversation was, “What do you mean you didn’t have time to find any worms?” Or if it was, “Yeah baby, I like those tail feathers!” But it was intense!
Finally, they settled down, and both went into the birdhouse we have hanging on the deck. We bought the birdhouse because we thought it was pretty. We were not sure if birds would make it their home, so we were happy they liked our taste in birdhouse chic. We feel like we are demonstrating a little Southern hospitality toward our feathered friends.
The Gospel of Luke tells us that a man came to Jesus and said, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:57-58) Jesus made a startlingly bold statement about the cost of following him. You may end up homeless!
The theme of homelessness runs throughout the gospel account of Jesus. Jesus was born in a stable because “there was no guest room available for them.” Soon after his birth, Joseph was warned in a dream to “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt…for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” Joseph heeded the warning, thus making Jesus a political refugee. Once again, he was homeless. And when Jesus traveled about with his disciples, he told them “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals…” Jesus’ life began and ended with no place to call his own.
I am not ready to give up my house in Wallace, and I don’t believe Jesus is calling me to. I do believe he is calling us to trust in him as our source of comfort and security. He wants to be the place where we go for shelter, for rest, and for protection. He is our “rock, in whom we take refuge.” (Psalm 18:2)
We can run to him – even when we feel like squawking.
By Dr. Jim Baldwin