A Cardinal sits with me at end of day.
It’s been a sad, unhappy time,
And I have lost my way.
He seems content to stay a while and rest,
And my front porch is cool with shade,
Sun moving to the west.
On other days I’ve seen him flit and fly
And labor quite industriously
For food that caught his eye.
Those days he’d pick at wings and clean and preen,
Then dart away and back again,
Quite nervous did he seem.
He changed his stance and cocked head constantly,
Not holding still a moment long;
He agitated me.
But, suddenly, this eve he’s come to sit.
As if he knew my sorrowful plight —
That I was in this pit.
And now and then he sings aloud his song.
But when he stops a while,
For more I long.
I’m sure his day is done; he should head home,
But here he sits beside my chair,
Just so I’m not alone.
His beauty, I have finally come to see,
Is unsurpassed: his ruby hue,
Wings black-edged perfectly.
In truth he is a masterpiece of life:
Each part of him a sculptor’s dream,
Down to his beady eye.
A good half hour he’s stayed and felt at home.
And looks right at me now and then,
To say, “You’re not alone.”
I sigh and realize I am content.
I close my eyes; begin to smile.
This is what Jesus meant.
He urged us to behold the birds of air
And take a lesson from each one
About His love and care.
“Yes, Jesus, I’m at peace in You at last.
This little bird you sent to me
Has fulfilled his task.
So take care of him, Lord and keep him strong,
And send him out to other souls
Who need to hear his song.”
Then opening my eyes, I seek my friend.
But he has flown while I have prayed,
His mission at an end.
“Look at the birds of the air! They don’t worry about what to eat — they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food — for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.” (Matt. 6:26 TLB).