When I stand at the window watching the flickers, sparrows, finches, chickadees, and red-winged blackbirds come and go from the feeders, I wonder who is watching who. They remain wary of me, fluttering away quickly if I approach with lens in hand. They fear capture, even within a camera. They have a life to be lived without my witness or participation. So much happens that I never see or know about.
I understand: I fear being captured too.
Even if only for a moment as an image preserved forever, I know it doesn’t represent all I am, all I’ve done, all I feel, all my moments put together. The birds are, and I am, so much more than one moment.
Only God sees us fully in every moment, witness to our freedom and captivity, our loneliness and grief, our joy and tears, knowing our best and our worst.
And because He knows us so well, in Him we must trust.
Did he who made the Lamb make thee? ~William Blake from “Songs of Innocence”
On a warm summer day
in the middle of a modern city,
pressed up against the coolness of glass,
you snooze in the ultimate cat nap,
oblivious to those who long to touch your stripes
as if you were Lamb, not Tiger.
Your fierce and fearful symmetry,
made the Creator smile,
though teeth and claws lay buried behind soft fur;
and so He smiled as He made us,
even knowing our loss of innocence yet to come.