Monday, April 23, 2007

Trilling in the Darkness

As you know from a previous post, my company is unwinding the project I’m on. One effect of that has been that people are being reassigned to various other places, and my staff has been decreasing far faster than our workload. This is the primary reason I’ve been so remiss in posting, but that’s not my point at the moment.

Friday night, I kept getting paged in the wee hours of the morning. After a fairly lengthy session at 3:00 AM, I crawled back into bed to try to get some sleep. As I lay there in the pitch black, I heard a mockingbird outside my window singing his guts out in the darkness. I was trying (vainly) to appreciate the natural beauty of the world while I wondered just what the heck this idiot bird thought it was doing.

There wasn’t anything wrong with the bird’s singing – it was quite lovely trilling away out there, not far from my bedroom window. The problem is that it was just out of place. Birds (mockingbirds, at least) are supposed to sing in the daytime; I’d have been a lot more appreciative of its talents at 3 PM than at 3 AM.

On the other hand, I thought (strange thoughts being common at three in the morning), isn’t that bird a lot like me? God made humans to be beautiful - our reason, our emotions, our physical and sexual natures were built to make us good, beautiful, and pleasing in the sight of God. The problem isn’t that I ceased to have those qualities; the problem is that I exercise them them out of their proper place. I wonder if that’s how we appear to God – lovely creatures who have ceased to function in our proper context, like mockingbirds singing in the darkness.

I confess that my first impulse was to find the psycho bird and and put it out of my misery; I am glad that He Who made the bird and my own out-of-order self takes a different approach to the both of us.