Listen to the Mockingbird, tweet tweet!
Tweet tweet as in birdsongs, not as in twitter! The old fashioned kind of tweets. Was out for the morning constitutional this morning…pretty early, it was still dark.
Walking along enjoying the morning sounds of nature. Crickets chirping, frogs croaking, birds singing, and the occasional zzzzztt, zzzzztt of somebody’s bug zapper! I wandered into kind of a funny neighborhood. Although there are some bugs that cause me to enjoy that little zzzzztt sound! And one of the birds singing so cheerily was a mockingbird. They and woodpeckers seem to be early risers. Maybe they all are as I don’t know that much about birds. But I do enjoy listening to mockingbirds, and whistling back at them, knowing sometimes they will respond.
Mockingbirds get a bad rap. At least in my opinion. Surely you have heard people challenge us all not to be like mockingbirds. They always talk about how mockingbirds have no song of their own, they only imitate everybody else. Then those folks challenge us to “find our own voice” and be the unique individuals we are created to be. Okay, fine. But there is another side to that story, it seems to me, speaking as a big mockingbird fan.
So yes, mockingbirds sing songs that are the songs from all sorts of other birds. I wish I knew the songs better, because I don’t recognize that many of them. And it is apparently true that they don’t have a song of their own, but I have noticed that doesn’t keep them from singing! In fact, they seem to enjoy all sorts of birdsongs. They sing the song of one bird, then of another, then another, and then jump into the air and flutter their wings as they make their way back down their high perches where they begin to sing all over again. They just like music, and they don’t stop singing, even if it is the song they heard from some other bird. It doesn’t seem to bother them at all that they sing the songs of other breeds. In fact, I wonder if maybe they don’t sing the songs as a way to stir up the other birds and invite them to join into the singing. And to do that, they cannot confine themselves to just one song, they like to sing them all!
I’m kind of like that. I enjoy symphonies with the classical music, and bluegrass, and good jazz as well as Dixie, old hymns and new praise choruses, contemporary Christian and Big Bands, Sousa Marches and songs from musicals. There are a few I don’t care for, but I won’t mention them, because a lot of other people DO like them. I kind of think the mockingbird makes a good pattern for life. I think it is kind of sad when people limit themselves to just one track, just one interest, and never stretch themselves beyond the familiar and comfortable. I think it is also sad that some people spend so much of their lives trying to find out “who” they are, what their “unique voice” is in life, and never seem to recognize and appreciate all the variety around them like the mockingbird clearly does.
Listen to the music of life around you, all the different ways people approach life, all the beauty that comes in varied forms. Picasso paintings look nothing like Michelangelo, and Monet’s technique is far different from Rembrandt, yet they all hang side by side in the great art museums, because there is a place for them all. Granted, each one found the style that worked well for them, but the museums are unwilling to limit their collections to just one painter. Much as the mockingbird is unwilling to limit itself to just one song.
Okay, so maybe I’m overplaying it. But maybe not. Does it ever occur to you, though, that there is a reason God decided to include such variety in creation. And if so, then why do we think we must limit ourselves to just one variation of that creation?
And what does all this have to do with divorce? Well, nothing, really. EXCEPT….sometimes, when you go through the experience of divorce, you can feel like your song is over, the song you know and once loved, the song that you thought would last a lifetime, has now been broken and has turned sorrowful rather than bringing joy. The same is true for those who have lost a precious loved one, as well. If this describes you, let me suggest that you learn the lesson of the mockingbird: there are other songs to sing, and you can learn the songs from others. In the case of divorce, the song may come through a surprising new love, or a new hobby interest, or a fresh start in lots of different ways. The song of your life isn’t over, but it may be time to transform it into something fresh. Listen carefully, you will find beautiful songs all around you here in God’s creation. And if you can’t find your own, sing another you enjoy that you have heard sung by others. Maybe it will cause YOU to leap in the air, too!
TL:dr Divorce, and many experiences in life, may feel like the ending of life’s song. But there are other songs we can learn, if we are willing to hear.