At 40 years of age, I moved back in with my mother to the Washington, DC suburban jungle I was raised in. Within a week, I saw birds I had never seen in nearly three decades I had lived in the area—northern cardinals, blue jays, crows, house wrens, and gray catbirds. Was it possible that the birds were completely new to the area or had I been totally blind to them for so many years?
There is a family of cardinals that live across the street from my mother. I would hear them every day, and if I stared out the window for ten or so minutes, I was sure to see at least one. The cardinal is bright red and hard to miss, even when you’re not looking for it. I wondered if my mother had noticed such a distinct bird that regularly flies right by her window.
“Mom, when was the last time you’ve seen this bird?” I showed her a picture of the cardinal on my phone.
“It’s been a couple of years,” she replied. “They don’t come by anymore.”
“There are several of them that live in the trees over there. They sing all the time and I see them daily.”
“What, really?” She looked surprised, and probably thought I was playing a joke on her.
“I’ll show you.”
A couple of hours later, a male cardinal was walking around the parking lot. I went to my mom and pointed him out.
“My goodness, it’s so beautiful!” She was instantly filled with joy, staring intently at the bird until it flew away. For the next couple of days, I called her whenever a cardinal was outside. I taught her their main song so she could know when they were nearby. Within only a week, she was almost as good as spotting cardinals as I was, and would run excitedly to me every time one was outside. She began asking about other birds she was noticing.
Until I pointed the cardinal out to her, she was blind to them. They could have been perched right on her window, singing their hearts out, but she could not see or hear them. It took someone else to show her the cardinal, and now she can’t stop seeing them. She hasn’t taken bird watching to the level that I have, but something was unlocked in her heart through my basic teaching and now I can say that her life has a little more beauty in it than before.
All humans are machines for recognizing beauty and truth, but unless they are taught by a guide, they may never see it. Our physical bodies act as antennae to receive the signal of God, but unless the Gospel is taught to us, the forces of evil will keep Him hidden within our hearts. The world corrupts our conscience at such an early age that it usually requires divine intervention or a loving teacher to unlock the Kingdom of God that is already within us.
How much longer would my mother have gone in her life without enjoying the beautiful cardinals unless I pointed them out to her? What a shame if she died without experiencing it. Now imagine how much detriment it is to our soul if we are not shown the One God and His infinite love and power. If you have eyes then let me point out that God to you. He flies by your window every day, waiting for you to notice Him, and all you only have to do is turn your head and look.
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