Man, Fairy Wrens are so cute. They are so tiny and with skinny little legs. They flitter here and there, close to the ground, very fast and have a rather loud vibrant whistle.
It’s springtime here in Australia and here on the East Coast, the fairy wrens are out to play. There’s just one problem. For some strange reason, one of them is trying to get inside the house!
Tap, tap, tap all day long. Tap, tap, tap and then a frenzied flutter up the outside of the window from the ground, with little stick-feet frantically and desperately scratching at the glass as she goes up and down, up and down, up and down, accompanied by a determined and frustrated rather up-tempo whistle. Then tap, tap, tap.
What on earth is she doing? Is she looking at her reflection? Does she think she sees another bird and feels she has to show her, who’s boss? She’s the funniest thing. Those little legs and feet go ten to the dozen and she never gets anywhere. She is relentless. I feel dreadfully sorry for her. I wish she could understand that there’s no other bird on the other side, that she’s really wasting all her energy and frustrations. She’s never going to achieve what she’s trying to achieve.
She’s looking at me now as I write. She’s hopping from the outside table, to the barbecue, to the outdoor chair, back down onto the sill and back at it again, all the while staring into the glass like some obsessed maniac. Poor love. What a waste of effort.
She reminds me of us, the church. How we have for so long, and still so many of us, frantically tried and tried for year after year, to enter into to a certain place, believing with all our might that that’s where we needed to be. Oh, the prayers! Lord, please, please, please (stick-feet scratching) let me into Your presence! Let me into your throne room, I want to be in there Lord, please, please, please let me in! I’ll do ministry, I’ll pray every day for 3 hours like Daniel, I pray the ‘Jabez Prayer’ (?), I’ll pray The Lord’s Prayer 10 times a day, I’ll give more than my tithes, I’ll attend every church service, I’ll go down the front to every alter call, I’ll join the greeting team, I’ll be nice and friendly to everybody, then surely you’ll let me in there!
Hmmmm. This little fairy wren just doesn’t get it. She’s already in the greatest place of all. She’s in her natural habitat! She’s in the wide open free space, where she can mingle with other fairy wrens. Where her food is free, her natural instincts can thrive and bear fruit in her little adorable life. She’s completely free and safe and no-one can catch her and lock her up into a little cage.
It’s the same for us. We’re already in! We’re already in the presence of the Almighty every day because we’re in Christ! As our dear brother Watchman Nee says in The Normal Christian Life – we are praying and praying to get into a room we are already in. It’s as silly, as absurd and as sad as that little fairy wren.
The church needs a revelation of just what almighty and outstanding work God has done for us, through and in Christ Jesus. If there’s any prayer worth praying 10 times a day for 3 hours at a time, it’s for a revelation of Christ and all that He is. Then we’ll see what already is and unlike this dear little worn out fairy wren, we’ll find rest.
(Oh, and maybe say a prayer for the fairy wren!)