Hello, my name is Catherine, and I am a recovering self-abaser. I've only been able to accept and/or love myself for about a year now; it's been a gradual trudge over bumpy terrain. Over time I allowed Satan to drag me down—he pounded my Achille's heel until I was barely able to function. God used his Word and his people to resurrect my battered psyche. He taught me how to employ his armor. Recently, he sealed the deal, using a most unexpected tactic: birds.
Although I am mostly healed from my former self-destructive thought life, a few crumbs remain to be swept up by God's broom. In my NIV, I read Jesus' words, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father... So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows," (Matt 10:29-31).
My brain, still addled by old habits, interprets this negatively. So, what then, I'm worth fifty or sixty cents? A couple of bucks, at the most? Great. A few days later my daily reading plan leads me to the same chapter, in The Message. Eugene Peterson's interpretation leaps off the page: "You're worth more than a million canaries." I laugh. Well played, Jesus. I get it.
The next day as I'm leaving the gym, approaching my car, I am greeted by a rather bold little bird. He meets my gaze from his perch atop our old white Volvo, allowing me to get close enough for a good look. What an exquisite creation—delicate, precise, absolutely lovely. As he flutters away, my eyes well up. Astounding, how much Jesus loves me.
This morning I read in Exodus, the name Zipporah translates as "bird" — a new sign to me of God's immeasurable love.