The Red Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal ProfileDreamstime

The other day I wrote about how my One Word found me for 2015.

My word is small.

I hope this word helps to remind me of ways in which I want to grow, change and move forward this year. I want to remember that small doesn’t mean helpless. To me, small, makes me think of scenes like David and Goliath. David was small but David was far from helpless. He picked up the stones and trusted his Savior.

That’s how I want to view small this year as I move further up the unknown path in front of me.

A few mornings ago, I was out on another run and once again beauty crossed my path…beauty on the wings of a lesson. I love how those two things will often go hand in hand. “God, Help Me to Be” by Cloverton began playing on my iPod. The words to this song hit my soul in such a way that I can, for the briefest of moments, understand better what it means to be small standing next to a great God in a big universe. The lyrics humble me.

God, help me to be
closer to you, Lord
so that I am farther from me
May your kingdom be
the only one that I seek
Oh God
And, God, help me to see
that everything was good
when you created all things
Now let me see with those same
eyes that created me.
Oh, God.

As I ran along listening, a red cardinal flew across my path. I know I’m not the only one who loves to see this brightly colored bird in the dead of winter. Sightings of one will often trigger feelings of hope and revival. I watched as the cardinal landed on a leafless barren branch and then fluttered to the next and then the next. Whatever scene the bird entered, he brightened up the world around him.

Beauty followed him wherever he settled because beauty was his garment.

As I watched the cardinal rest again on another leafless branch I heard these words playing in my ears:

“God help me to go- to follow where you lead me so all nations will know, The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of this world. Oh, God, my God.”

When I think of the words “Lamb of God” the first image that enters my mind is the color red. I think of the blood shed on behalf of us. We were the leafless barren branches in the middle of winter. His red flew down into our drab world. He entered each of our stories. He stretched out His wings and gave us hope.

Thank God! Pray to him by name!
Tell everyone you meet what he has done!
Sing him songs, belt out hymns,
translate his wonders into music!
Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,
you who seek God. Live a happy life!
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works;
be alert for signs of his presence. (Psalm 105:1-5 Message)

10 thoughts on “The Red Cardinal

  1. Jen

    that was so beautifully written and I love what you said about the Cardinal! What a great picture of who we are to be in this world as believers!! This is a huge encouragement to me as I start back to work this morning! I carry with me the sweet aroma of Christ! My heart is full this morning!!!

  2. Chris Monahan

    Seems to me the only part of you where ‘small’ doesn’t apply is your heart. May it continue to grow, even if only in ‘small’ increments.
    May your year, which begins (as) ‘small,’ grow/expand as He shows you His wonders and pours out His blessings upon you.

  3. Betty Jones

    The red bird is my favorite. Many times when I am praying and seeking an answer I wii see one, I will take it as a sign that everything is okay. Thanks for sharing beautiful.


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