Some call me strange. My favorite day is Thursday because I can smell the weekend coming, I find the bustle of Christmas Eve more alluring than the big-deal-real-day, and morning bird chirps that call forth the rising sun captivate me. I am enthralled with the anticipation of the extraordinary, much more than the actual unfolding of wonderful happenings. I think this is why I have always been enchanted by early mornings. A fresh slate. New mercy from God. A white canvass. Yes, the anticipation of something great is exquisite.
At about 4:23 AM, I was sung to life by a litany of high and low pitched chants and tones outside my window this morning, as I often am lately. These are anticipation chirps sending warning dawn is about to split the sky into wild color. This springtime alarm clock brings anticipation of a new season.
There are other areas of life I am hearing figurative bird chirps warn of positive change too. Lately, I am noticing the ways authenticity brings newness and positive change in communities. It doesn’t matter the age, gender, race, or profession of the people…
If you are human, you have experienced some dysfunction; and yes, to some degree, you yourself, are dysfunctional. We all are.
Why is it so difficult for the high school student to squeeze out the word “depression”, or the mom of three little ones to say she is “overwhelmed”? Where does this pressure come from to appear as though we are untouched by the qualms of life? Why do our difficulties isolate us, when in fact, it is our struggles that make us all imperfect and collectively human. Brene Brown writes in her book Daring Greatly that the two most powerful words in the human language are “Me too.” I’ve seen the power of these two words spread hope like bird chirps.
I was recently with several friends, and after many got real audacious by sharing some honest battles, one woman in her sixties responded by saying, “Tonight is the first time in my life I actually feel normal.” She felt normal because she had a few scrapes and bruises from life too. We all do. I heard those figurative birds chirping as tears slid from the eyes of all around the table.
If getting real is so freeing, why is it so hard?
Learning to be real takes some work and courage.
At my piano lesson last month, my teacher explained why it is so difficult for people to learn new things. He said the bottom line is that people hate appearing and feeling incompetent. However, in order for a person to grow, there is always a period of struggle – of unstable development. The skill has not yet been honed, and the lesson not yet learned. This is transformation. Unfortunately, too often, our pride prevents us from getting there. In order to grow, we need to take our ducks out of their perfect row, and admit we don’t have all the answers. We are all still searching, learning, stumbling, snagging and growing, along with everyone else.
It takes courage to look incompetent you know. Trust me, my piano teacher would tell you I am quite good at it.
Billy Graham writes, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
The chirp anthems are waking people to arise with courage to be real, and experience sweet freedom. The ground is shaking from their marching and moving. I invite you to join the advance.