On days when it is fine enough one of my greatest pleasures is sitting out in the garden. Over time I have found that if I am quiet and relatively still the birds who frequent the garden gradually begin to trust that I will not hurt them and start to come closer. It will begin with a rustle in a tree or perhaps in the holly bush just to the left of the bench. There are little twitterings, whispers and clicking sounds as they consider me and wonder if it is safe to venture to the seed feeders. Then one adventurous soul, generally one of the robins - they are the boldest of our garden birds - will break cover for a moment, grab a piece of seed and retire with it.
The robin often loves company and will come to see what I am doing, there will be scufflings in the holly bush and a beady eye will peak out and sing softly. Of course his favourite time of all is when my father is out gardening, he and his partner have spent entire afternoons following him around within inches, sometimes getting perilously close to the spade or fork as my father digs. Over time I have learned to tell the two robins apart by their behaviour, for example the less bold of them hovers close to things rather than land and this robin also likes to fly across the garden narrowly avoiding my head to announce his or her presence. Our current robin's new trick is to bring whatever he has found, small grubs, caterpillars and the like to show us, before flying off to eat them or take them to his nestlings.
The day before yesterday one of the robin even had a bath while I was standing a couple of feet away, a sign of trust that brought me such joy. Indeed it has struck me that perhaps this is how God feels about us when we trust Him? When we dare to approach, or show Him something we have done or just come to see what He is doing, does He feel that same joy? Is my joy at the robin's trust and company a small echo of what happens in God's heart when we come to Him and trust Him? I do hope so. Certainly it makes me more determined than ever to try to trust God more and to keep coming to my Father.