Panic City–How Do You Rescue a Trapped Bluebird?

When this happened last fall, I thought it was weird. When it happened again last week, I wondered if there was a message in it for me. Maybe for all of us.

We live in a log cabin and have a wood burning stove.

This pipe runs from the stove to the ceiling. It’s twenty-three feet tall.

The other day, I heard a banging noise inside the pipe.

Seconds later, a beautiful bluebird sat in a pile of ashes blinking at me.

Won’t you please help me? I’ve gotten myself into a terrible mess! 

I opened the glass door, but couldn’t catch her. She was covered in ashes.

I know, sweet girl. I know how you feel. I’ve been trapped before–in fear, worry, control, perfectionism. 

I called my husband. “Help! There’s another bluebird stuck in the wood burning stove. I can’t get her!”

“Sit tight. She’ll be okay ’til I get home.”

My husband Rick’s a bird-man. He raises chickens in our backyard.

Once, he rescued a hummingbird. He gave the miniature bird sugar-water and set it free.

Rick has an outdoor atrium full of parakeets.

In the winter, he covers their home in plastic and turns on a heat lamp.

He loves birds.

He understands them.

He’s not afraid to hold them when they’re sick.

A couple of hours later, he came home and knelt by the stove. The bluebird looked up at him.

Thank you! You came! I’m still alive! You didn’t forget about me!

“It’s okay, girl.” With confidence and compassion, Rick reached inside her dusty prison. “I’ve got you now.”

Gently, he rinsed her off in the sink, patted her dry, and set her free.

Whatever you’re struggling with today remember, “He holds you in the palm of His hand.” Isaiah 41:13

And something else–

“He will give you beauty for ashes.” Isaiah 61:3.  

Have you ever felt like a trapped bird with no way out? What held you captive?















If a Sparrow (or a Hummingbird) Falls to the Ground…

As a writer, sometimes the harder I work, the more a story eludes me.

One August day last year, near 100 degrees, my writing wasn’t coming together. I’d worked on the same article for days.  At 4:30 that afternoon, I did something very un-Julie-ish. I took a break and went to the pool at the Y. I plopped in a lounge chair, but my brain kept working.

My cell rang. “You won’t believe what I’m doing,” my husband said “This poor hummingbird got stuck in the shop. She’d been flying around the ceiling, wearing herself out. Probably dehydrated. I stretched out my hand and she landed on it.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope. I asked one of the guys to make her some sugar water.”

Bless my husband’s sweet heart.

“She sat in my hand and drank from the lid of a bottled water. I took her outside and she flew away.”

If my husband, the mechanic, cares about a worn-out hummingbird…

I sensed God saying, Julie, you’re just like that hummingbird. Relax. Take a break. I’m here.

I swam in the pool for a while. Then I closed my eyes and rested in the sun. I didn’t work anymore that day. A couple of days later, the missing piece of my story came to me.

“But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” Matthew 10:29 (NLT)

Anybody tired and ready to give up? Rest is a gift, even a form of trust.