To step outside in the first hour of morning at this time of year is to literally step into springtime.  Even though the daily temps have a rollercoaster-like tendency, more predictable increased daylight taps its baton earlier and earlier each morning, and the symphony begins.  There is no awkward tuning required as every voice is clear and perfectly pitched.

The heavens tell of the glory of God; and their expanse declares the work of His hands.  Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.  Psalm 19:1-2

This week one of my favorites showed up at the backyard feeder.  It was a possibly-newly arrived, and definitely-newly colored, male goldfinch that easily caught my eye.  I say that it is possible that the tiny bird just recently migrated north because, while a portion of the population does migrate south for the winter, some, especially in mild winters like this year’s was, stay here year-round.  It can be difficult to know for sure whether this finch was a traveler or not because the goldfinch undergoes one of the most dramatic color transformations of all the birds that live in these parts.  So, he may have been in the neighborhood all along, although not nearly as noticeable as he is now.  

As its name implies, the male goldfinch is a bright canary yellow during the mating and summer seasons.  He will be a much more muted brownish color for the winter months.  The easiest way to identify him in the winter is that the white bar slashed across his wing is visible year-round.  In fact, a few days before this obvious yellow male made his appearance I was sure that I noticed a finch that appeared to be just turning yellow; I noted, or believe I noted, the white wing bar just as he flitted off the feeder and headed west.  That earlier sighting happened just rushed enough that I wasn’t certain, but this bright yellow male ensured that I could say in confidence that I saw the first male goldfinch in full springtime regalia on March 29th this year.

I appreciate the transformation that I am called to is not seasonal.  There are no telltale outward signs as the transformation is one of heart.  It is a transformation of vision from one focused on constant personal preening to turning the gaze more on the other and on the transcendent.  It is a transformation from what is sensed and tangible to a spiritual inner peace.

I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  Ezekiel 36:25-26

His Peace <><

Deacon Dan

Photo by Mark Olsen on Unsplash