Bird Smash Window Opportunities
Have you ever seen a bird hit a window? The bird flies along minding its own bird business and then suddenly a wap! of pain and stillness. The bird lays still (sometimes permanently) for a while and then eventually its beady eyes blink open as it shakes off the shock and begins to orient itself to its environment.
Now I am not sure where birds go hang out after hitting a window. Maybe a bird psychiatrist. Maybe they perch on a comfortable curved couch and talk about their feelings of fear and hesitation ‘after it happened.'
Life is full of bird smash windows. We cruise along – it’s all good – moment by moment and then something we never saw coming enters our life like double paned glass at 40 mph. Cancer, loss, betrayal, I’m leaving you.
I think bird smash window opportunities are the refining fire of our faith. You cannot plan for them and you cannot prevent them, your striving notwithstanding. C.S. Lewis once said “surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.” (Lewis always nails it.)
When we find ourselves in these types of moments, we will not have time for measured cool. We will not have the strength for faking composure. There’s blood and tears and guttural yells and the window isn’t open for us to present the best version of ourselves.
Our true colors will show.
Problem: our colors aren’t pretty. When they show it won’t be like shining a bright light in a diamond mine, it’ll be more like a plastic flashlight shining on a shoe.
Without doing the whole dismissive ‘I am just blessed’ fakery, we have the real opportunity to shine the light on Jesus. But we cannot do this artificially. To do so artificially is a default way to make someone thing you’re a good little Christian, but to truly rely upon Jesus in the trench warfare of trial is something people notice.
I remember when pastor Matt Chandler got cancer. I don’t know Matt, but I used to go to The Village Church before they sent me and some other reprobates to plant another church. Matt had an awful cancer that I had trouble looking up (when you can’t start spelling something you can’t search for it). I guess it’s so hard to name a cancer this sinister that they gave it a name no one could say.
Matt had a family and he was a beloved pastor of a huge healthy church. He would publish his first book soon. Life and ministry were good. But he hit the window. Hard.
His wit was in danger of becoming dull dysfunction, if he lived at all. Matt is a brilliant guy and so his sharp mind shorting out was a potential tragedy to all of us. His grasp of the Gospel of Jesus Christ allowed him to paint the beauties of Jesus with vibrant color and texture. Really, God?
In the midst of this mess, Matt was a real human being. He probably cussed and cried and stared blankly without intention. I would. But what Matt did in this situation provided an even stronger proclamation of God’s goodness than all of his sermons combined. Matt truly, authentically trusted and cherished God. It wasn’t a treasuring God so He’d make the cancer go away – it was a love of God beyond the cancer. Cancer could not get deep enough to snuff out Matt’s faith.
Today Matt praises God for the cancer. For real. Matt is a walking miracle and God uses Matt in bigger ways still.
When you find yourself in a heap of feathers on a window sill, I pray that you treasure Jesus. When people look and see your true colors, they will be blinded by the brilliant light of Christ.