I met her on a crisp, sunny January day. A recent storm had blanketed the countryside with fresh snow that gleamed and sparkled in the morning light. My man and I had gone for a hike at a local conservation area, following bunny and deer trails through the woods. Our walk ended at a small raptor center where birds of prey, found injured, are nursed back to health.
I lingered at the hawk habitat snapping slow, careful photographs. Jane had been hit by a car while hunting roadside. One of her wings had been partially amputated to save her life and this small habitat was her new home.
To see such wounded frailty was heartbreaking. What is it to be a bird without a wing?
Her brokenness resonated within me: my near-shattered heart grieved the emptiness of a useless womb. Infertility had left me wrecked, feeling trapped and betrayed by my own body.
As I put my camera away I whispered, ‘You are beautiful. You are still so beautiful.’
The tears came then.
There, with the sun high, the snow bright, and a stunning majesty that held beauty despite brokenness, my heart was pricked by the finger of truth. Who am I to the Creator who formed me?
Beautiful, though broken.
Precious, though crushed.
How often aren’t we hit midflight only to find ourselves broken and bleeding at the side of the road… grief-spattered, dream-shattered. And lying there numb and shocked, don’t we often feel empty of potential, use or hope?
In Isaiah 43, God whispers (sometimes shouts!) His truth:
Listen to the Lord who created you:
“I have called you by name… you are Mine.
You are precious to me… You are honored, and I love you.”
He is Creator God: painter of sweeping sunsets and Northern lights; architect of mountains, deep ocean beds and unseen galaxies; He is the composer of birdsong, rolling thunder and the sweet symphonies of falling rain. He is the sculptor of flesh from dust, the Breath of life.
We are daily awed by the gift of beauty all around us. We see past the fallen, busted state of this world to see the wonder of God’s hand but our weary hearts are reluctant seekers of the beauty within us.
You are Mine…
If my wing is clipped and I am afraid, He shelters me beneath divine wings, strong and healing.
If I am weary and bruised, having fallen hard at the roadside of life, He scoops me up and carries me on the wings of eagles.
If I cannot see past the grief of dreams lost or shake the profound grip of brokenness, He sees me whole in Jesus. O, sweet mystery of grace!
He sets me free.
You are beautiful, friend. Even when (with your wing tattered and heart grief-stained) you cannot see it… believe that He does. He sees straight to the beauty He created.
You are His. You are precious. He loves you.
With Him, you can fly again.
Will you let Him set you free?
By Thelma Nienhuis, Life as TwoLeave a Comment