I love the songs in Scripture. They have bound up wounds and resuscitated my weak heart when the burden was more than I could bear. We’d all be amazed to find out what’s covered up and bound to our backs. There are many loads, sometimes just an extra bag, that has sent this burro’s knees to the dust. It’s at this point I can’t seem to remember anything I’ve learned. I can’t see, get up, or even take another controlled breath.
But here is where the lyrics of songs and laments have made their way into my soul reminding me of what is true. Songs have such a unique way of speaking hard things into deaf ears. And like these light, provision-loving birds, a song will land and awaken what seems dead and show me where my rest is found.
A reprise is the repeated part of a song that seems to be so necessary to sing one more time if I’m to find my way.
“I have forgotten what happiness is. My endurance has perished; so has my hope. Remember my afflictions and my wanderings... My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. The Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3, paraphrased)
What an unlikely pair, these two. One might think there’s nothing in common between this fierce brute with his horns and hard head and those flighty birds who seem quite a nuisance. But truth is their best life is in the company of the other. Here they set the terms of their journey together: One taking care of threatening invaders while the other provides the makeup of a nest. One kicking up the insects for dinner while the other cleans the coat. Seems like thriving on the plains requires opposites appreciating and gleaning from the strengths of the other.
I considered choosing a name for this piece from a list of dear friends I’ve had the privilege of knowing closely over the years -—people who were very different from me at the onset but proved to be the most amazing companions. I figured if I did use names, it would be a messy job clarifying who was the bison and who was the bird.