Earlier in the week, another volunteer had sat with the woman and told her about the birds. Birds are not exactly my thing, but I of course listen as she tells me about them. She pointed out a yellow canary that was on the floor of the cage. She said that it couldn't fly anymore because it was too old, but it sang all the time. She intently watched the canary waiting for it sing. Sure enough, every 45 seconds or so, it sang. Every time it did, the woman's face lit up as she pointed, looked at me and said, "Look! See, it's singing!"
Some of you know about what's called the "stages of grief." After the death of a close loved one, many people feel a sense of numbness at first, followed by deep pain, depression, sometimes anger, and a whole host of things that is never exactly the same for two people. But then, after a long time, sometimes several years, it's said that we begin to find our routine again, and we start to imagine and rebuild what our life looks like without the deceased person. The loss never goes way or is forgotten, but with the help and grace of God, we begin to heal...
...and find our song again. As I left that night, I wondered if the woman was consciously aware of why she found so much meaning in that bird who was too old to fly but still sang. I found myself praying that it wouldn't be too long before that woman found her new song, even with her broken wing.
A reason to sing when we can no longer fly. That's what faith can do.