Again, the Lord continues to speak to my heart. "Let them feed". So, I finally surrender and say, "Okay Lord". I just watch and then as a few come closer I see something my eyes have never caught before. They have beautiful coloring. Such detail. It's in their nature to be mean, but even as they are, the other birds give them room. The other birds still remain. It may not be their perfect idea of dining, but dining is what they do. Together. As one group. They endure these birds.
I am no longer seeing birds, but God's people. How many times do we only want to dine with those who are like us? How many times to we shun those who are different? Those with more money, less money? Those with a big house or a small house? Those who seem to have a lot to offer and those who keep to themselves? Those who serve and those who do not? Those who do not live by the covenant on the wall? Those who come to church just once in a while compared to those who are there every Sunday?
We see people in need and ignore them. After all, they made their own bed, right? How many people do we turn away because they don't fit into our perfect circle? Maybe they disagree with us. Maybe they attend a different church. Maybe they have never been in church before. We make people feel like criminals. When we push people away because they are not like us we give room for Satan to move in. Not only in those we push away, but in our hearts. Because yes, we have the attitude that we are better. We should be dining. In fact, the table should be laid out for us with a red carpet to lead the way.
My husband loves the bright color of the male Cardinal. I love the coloring of the female. One year at my mother's house we came home after a day out and found the entire yard covered with yellow finches. Absolutely breathtaking. It was then I fell in love with these lovelies of the air. Maybe I have always been fascinated with birds, but what I am learning is that all of God's creatures can teach us great life lessons. They gather with their broad band of color, their different shapes and sizes, different songs and different personalities. They gather to feast.
Do you know the revival that would break out if we simply feasted with all those different than ourselves? When we take the time we see past the difference and we have a new appreciation for life. For God's creation. We don't all have to agree on every subject. We don't have to see eye to eye on every biblical issue. What if we just met to feast in the glory of God? What if we all came to dine together, leaving behind indifference and embracing those around us? To put it simply. We allow indifference to separate us. When in fact we should simply be coming together in the love of Christ.
People are pushed away enough for being different. People feel lonely and sad. They feel no one understands them and no one is willing to accept them the way they are. We sin, we falter, we stumble, we face temptation, we get off track, whatever you want to call it. When we do so there is always someone in the waiting to tell us just how wrong we are. We hold grudges. We look at those different with judgement. It seems we are always waiting to kick someone off the feeder and tell them they are not welcome.
What if we embraced all who are different and just loved them. That doesn't mean we love and embrace sin, but friends, may we move past our own ugliness and fears and embrace those around us. What would Jesus do? He would feed them. He would lay out a dinner before them. Before all. He calls ALL to know Him. Unless we step out and get uncomfortable we are never going to reach the lost. All they need is love. Not a worldly love, but a Christ-like love. We are to love like Christ.
"For God so loved in this way: He gave His One and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that he world might be saved through Him. " John 3:16-17
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Himself as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented Him to demonstrated His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus." Romans 3:23-26
Friends, in order for the this world to see the love of Christ we must embrace those around us. We must show love. Let us dine with those who are different and maybe have a mean streak about them. May we never give up and may we keep our feeders full so that others find us forever inviting. This is how we are going to be a light to the world around us. One feeder at a time we can change the world. One seed planted, is one heart changed.