Tuesday, March 30, 2010

sounds of Easter

one of the things i really savor about living in Romania is the seasons. not just the four seasons (although they can be rather glorious!) .. but the other signs that a certain time of year has come. say, for instance, the week and a half when strawberries are in season, cheap, amazingly juicy and sweet, and everybody eats them while they can! or, perhaps, knowing that it is near Christmas because it smells like oranges and a sweet-bread that is made traditionally here.

Easter is clearly coming. the most obvious reason being that everyone is cleaning their rugs. and this process looks a little bit different than in the States. rugs are rolled up and carried to the nearest bar, which are probably within a 5 minute walk of just about anybody. there is an instrument, much like a racket, which is used to beat the rug over and over until there isn't much dust left in it. this makes a loud sound, which one might mistake for some sort of violence, if one didn't know better .. everyone is cleaning house before Easter and visitors, so i hear this sound often. but i take it as a reminder of what this week represents, of what happened on Friday .. and what happened on Sunday. and it's all true!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

an apt picture

this is a photo that i took from my bathroom. with a little bird resting for a bit on the concrete just outside the window.

this winter, we had a few really cold weeks. because of the way the heating works, i always left my bathroom window just a little bit open, so there would be some airflow. a few days into our incredibly cold streak, i started to hear bird noises more often, but i didn't immediately realize why. some mornings i would find old bread crusts in my bathtub, which sits right below the window. strange, i thought .. but i still didn't guess why. upstairs neighbors and wind? bored kids?

eventually, it clicked. these birds had been coming to my window to find shelter. because the window was cracked open, it meant that there was air just a little bit warmer than outside, and they were taking advantage of it! sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes much longer.

talking with God, this felt like a picture of what He has invited me into. people can come into my home (and friendship) and they can be warmed, comforted, refreshed. these birds needed a place to really rest, and it feels like i sometimes get to do the same thing for my friends! invite them in, share what i have, be present with them, enjoy life together, and send them on their way with just a little bit more hope, Lord willing.

a friend recently visited and the birds kept reminding her of the passage of Scripture that talks about God taking care of the birds of the field, and that we can trust Him to provide for us as well. she encouraged me to trust Him to provide for me and for whatever the future may hold. so .. each day as i hear and see the birds (who still come around and visit, even if it's not cold outside) .. i remember these two thoughts, and wonder what else is in store for me to learn!