City Life, Part Nineteen: A Still, Small Voice
The Center Of God’s Will
I work part-time managing a house for rent in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. While working there the other day in the basement, I heard some scratching outside.
A few days earlier, one of the neighbors told me that a family of rabbits had nested in her back yard. So I went outside, thinking I would see a burrowing bunny.
But the scratching sounded like it was coming from the wall of our house. Another neighbor happened by at that time and said that the scratching had begun the day before.
Upon closer inspection, I located the noise at the bottom of a vertical gutter drain duct. My thought, then, was that a squirrel had fallen down the duct and gotten trapped.
I tried unscrewing the rusty bolts that held the drain sections together. But they wouldn’t budge. I thought, “Ah, I don’t have time for this!” And then I went back to work.
But a still, small voice wouldn’t leave me be. Neither would the scratching. With a small, rusty handsaw, I cut an opening just above the bottom of the duct. A bright yellow beak poked through!
I said, “Hey, you . . . move down a little.” Sure enough, he did.
I cut an “I” in the front of the duct, and then peeled back the sections, like doors. I’m not sure what kind of bird he was–black, the size of a robin, ruffly neck, purple and green specks on his back–but he hopped up onto the edge of the opening and greeted the day.
A still, small voice wouldn’t leave me be. Neither would the scratching.
I assumed he would instantly take to flight. Perhaps too weak, he hopped to the ground and began foraging through the close-cut lawn. In less than a minute, he was pulling a worm from the fertile soil and gobbling it down.
I’ve been feeling a little lost, lately. My prayers have included the request that I possess an awareness of living in the center of God’s plan. For that moment, at least, that prayer was answered.
Now, all I have to do is explain the mutilated duct to my boss!