Standing transfixed I watch the song thrush. She’s so purposeful in her actions, so sure of what will happen next. In her mouth she bashes a snail against the rock edge of the garden pond.
I smiled at her cleverness and her boldness. I allowed myself the time to ponder, drifting into a place of prayer.
A prayer of thanks for the wondrous bird that’s hoping only feet away from me.
I rarely see a song thrush in the garden. Never before had I had the privilege or delight in watching so much skill used to consume a garden snail.
As my prayers drifted I focused on the Great Tit skilfully picking out caterpillars from the large leafed Verbascuum.
Nature is so harmoniously amazing . Just a few feet from my kitchen window I witness the struggles of life, held in the space of a few minutes during sunrise.
So immersed in my wonderings the tasks of the day seemed unimportant.
I smiled at the boldness of the birds on the patio. Wondering why these birds where so close to the house. My joy quickly turned to concern for the safety of the birds. Worried they would become a plaything for my cat .
Seven years ago we invited a black fluffy kitten ( Grimalkin ) into our lives. She’s grown into a handsome black killer: hunting, birds, rats, mice.
Cats are so inquisitive they have a wonderful scene of exploring all things new.
Why did Grimalkin not hear the thrush tap tap tapping the snail against the rock? Why did her curiosity not wake her morning slumber?
Actually more to the point where was the cat this beautiful morning?
Our faithful friend and companion was involved in a fatal road traffic accident a few hours before I woke.
The song thrush was safe to sing in our garden. The space that was once occupied by Grimalkin was this morning filled with garden birds.
Birds eating and socialising right in front of the kitchen window.
It’s 24 hours since the song thrush appeared. This morning I was again sat watching this beautiful bird enjoying its breakfast on the patio.
Before I was even aware of my cats death the birds moved into her space.
I no longer have my friend in the garden but I do have a safe place for the birds. Something beautiful happened when the space she held was no longer hers.
My cats space has been filled with a space that will sing. It will be awhile before the space inside of me will sing, but it will.
Grimalkin has helped me understand why spaces are not ours to hold.
When we hold spaces for anger and pain. We have no space for love. When we hold onto words that need to be said. We have no room for forgiveness.
Gods love transforms us. But we need a space for that love to grow.
Theirs beauty in Grimalkins empty space – quite simply because it’s not empty. When I look to the empty cross I see Jesus love. It’s beautiful because Jesus rose from the dead and left the tomb empty. If the tomb was not empty, then the cross would have remained a symbol of execution. If the tomb were not empty, the cross would have been the supreme symbol of cruelty and despair and not love and hope. It is the empty tomb and makes the empty cross a thing of beauty.
My encounter with the song thrush has shown me that no space is mine. By saying ‘yes’ to Jesus I need to give all my spaces not only the physical spaces, but the spaces in my heart too.
I offer the spaces in my heart to be filled with love. So much love that God’s light and life and love might dwell in me.
John 20:11-15 The Message (MSG)
But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?” “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”