Early this morning, Laney and I were out watering plants when we noticed the birds playing. They were having chasing fits all through our yard. I went to get my camera to see if I could capture their in-flight game. When I returned, I noticed a mother bird rooting around on the ground with a beak full of sticks and straw. My focus changed from the chaos of the frolicking birds to the calm mission of the momma bird. I moved closer to watch her meticulous work.
Eventually, she caught on that I was watching her build her nest. Her reaction surprised me. She abandoned the first nest and started building a new one. After a few minutes, it dawned on me what her game was. She was building a mock nest. I was a threat to her and her mission. In her fear, she started building a second nest to throw me, the predator, off. I quietly walked away and continued watching her from my breakfast room window. Once I was gone, she was back to her mission, building her “real” nest.
In this, I was reminded of Nehemiah in the Old Testament when he was rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. The Lord had put this mission in his heart for a reason; to restore pride to His people. Nehemiah was laughed at, mocked and even faced physical opposition for this seemingly menial task. As a result of his diligence, the Jews in exile were reunited and restored as a nation.
The Holy Spirit started teaching me that in my own life, I have oftenabandoned the purpose He has created me for when faced with fear of attack or rejection. Like Nehemiah, we have all been created for a special task. However silly or meaningless that task may seem, stay the course. We never know the outcome of our purposes. Don’t come down off your wall, or abandon your nest when fear comes.
As I have been photographing new mothers this week and seeing the end of life in another, I am reflective on my own life; where I have come from and where I am going.
Life is the theme of my photography this week as I have seen different stages of life through the lens of my camera. I have seen the excitement building of a new mother as she anxiously waits to hold her baby and the celebration of a first birthday. The changes that happen during the first year are remarkable. What if we continued learning each year, like we did during our first?
Earlier this week I discussed some of life’s hard lessons with a young friend. As I look back on my own life, I can see the lessons I have learned, most of them very hard. Those lessons are learned alone. With the support of friends and family, those lessons build character and perseverance. The young people I photographed this week are on the brink of those life lessons. I look at them with fiery eyes; eager to watch them soar as they embark on in their journey. They will rise and they will fall. They will dust themselves off and try again. They will be extraordinary.