In the snow covered garden hangs a tin, slightly rusted birdhouse, home to a few birds. Wandering about the frozen garden I pondered if the birds had all flown south for the winter or if some might still linger within their little safe house. Maybe there is a warm nest of grass, leaves and bits of newspaper within those blue tin walls or maybe it is empty awaiting the spring. Either way it was hung in the garden to give refugee for those in need of its shelter regardless of the season.
In the winter of our year it is easy to notice the snow covered, frozen and almost lifeless winter all about us. The holidays have gone and winter stretches before us with no signs of life in sight. Yet, we have that same little blue tin safe house of shelter waiting for us regardless of the season. However, we have a difficult time finding it in the coldness of our everyday lives. The house I speak of surrounds us and when we allow, it lifts us and loves us, it is the love we find within our lives. We have family, friends, co workers and even strangers who love us daily. But as we look down as to not slip on the ice our gaze is no longer focused on the love that surrounds us but the survival through these long hard days of winter. We have only but to walk gingerly and look up at those around us. Our children want to hug us, to sit on our laps and let us love them. Our spouses look to us for support as we complain about how cold we are within. Our friends tell us of the warmth of the coming spring but we concentrate on the misery of the ice beneath our feet. Our co workers try to talk with us and we try to avoid them worried they might throw us under the bus or make more work for us. The stranger on the street smiles but we cannot bear to look them in their eyes.
The tin, slightly rusted, safe house is within our sight but we have to look up from our worries, anxieties and sadness to find it hanging right there in the garden of our lives. Within each person we encounter we witness the love of God and every time we cast our eyes upon the ice we isolate ourselves further. Let the spring come, care not for every tiny step you take, but rather care for the ones about you this day. Open your eyes, lift your chin, look beyond that step and find the love that dwells within your life. The love of those who surround you will surely thaw the winter of your life.