I'll never forget this hiking experience in one of Florida's scrub forests. We came upon a family of scrub jays. I had heard that, unlike most birds, they have very little fear of humans. That proved to be an understatement. Although we were out in the wild, they landed on our heads, hands, and shoulders, checking us out as though we were curiosities to be thoroughly examined.
I snapped this photo of my wife, Susie, with one of these beautiful birds perched on her hand. It remains as one of my favorite shots of all time, not only because both the lovely lady and the statuesque bird posed so nicely, it always reminds me of deeper truths.
Most flocks of birds will scatter when you approach, fearful that you will hurt them, though their fears are almost always unfounded. I, for one, would love to walk up to a bird and stroke its feathers and have it perch on my finger and sing a song. I have no desire to harm them. I only want to enjoy their beauty. But they fly away, ignorant of my desires to share the blessing of their presence.
I wonder if God feels the same way when people scatter whenever He wants to draw near. The Bible says that He seeks to be with us and rejoices over us, but some people fear His presence. They think He will punish them for wrongdoings. They are shivering sparrows who believe they are the next meal for an wrathful deity, so they fly away.
If a person is alienated from God, perhaps fear is justified. Perhaps wrath is to be expected. Yet, even some of those who have made peace with God through Jesus Christ are still afraid. They don't want to sit and sing songs of worship. They're still guilt-ridden or simply still accustomed to flying away.
Since I have been made a friend of God, I will never join the scattering birds. I am like a scrub jay. I want to fly to my Master's hand when I see Him walking down the lane, seeking to have fellowship with me. Even though my voice squawks like a scrub jay's, I will sit and sing my heart out anyway, because I have no fear of my Master, and I know He loves to hear my joyful noise, off-key or not.