Blog

Talking Birds
Friday, July 15, 2022 by Sarah Schwerin

I stopped and listened for the birds, but there was only silence. Wiping the sweat from my forehead, I continued walking through the North Carolina woods. Birds don’t speak. Yet the song I had heard sounded as if a bird spoke to me.  

A group of hikers approached from the opposite end of the trail. I leaned against a tree and let them pass. The bird song repeated. I turned. Twigs snapped and leaves rustled. No one in the group had spoken. Yet, the words were as clear as if my fellow travelers had spoken to me.

I continued the climb up the mountain, puffing and sweating. Was I going crazy? I was familiar with the trill of the Bob White, the honking of geese and other bird songs, but never had I heard actual words from a bird. The loneliness of the writer's life was finally getting to me. My brain was mush after the rejection from publishers and agents. I was hearing sounds that didn’t exist.

In front of me, a flight of steep metal stairs loomed. I inhaled and climbed, planning to increase my exercise regime when I returned home. Why was I hiking? I should have gone shopping.

The bird song repeated, “I need you.”

With each step, I repeated the message to myself, but knew no one needed me. My teenage boys were growing up. Soon they wouldn’t need me at all. My husband, a busy executive, enjoyed spending time with me, but didn’t need me.

A year ago, I began seriously writing and as the rejections piled up, I knew no one needed me or my words.

I reached the top of the stairs. The forest spread beneath me and above me. I inhaled the mountain air. Wildflowers outlined the stream. Tall, majestic trees reached to the cloudless sky. The sound repeated.

“I need you.”

Could God be sending me a message?

God didn’t need me. He made this beautiful world. He was all knowing, all powerful, all everything. What difference could I make?

At the top of the summit, I followed the arrow on the sign and the bird song repeated. “I need you.”

The waterfall drowned out the bird’s message. The powerful water spray cooled me and a peace settled on me.

God didn’t need me.

He can accomplish anything and everything without me. No, God doesn’t need me—He wants me.

God chose me.

I descended the mountain. My muscles were sore, but my mind was at peace. I was going back to my family. They didn’t need me, but they chose me and I chose them. I was going back to the writing and rejection, not because God needed my words but because He called me to write. He chose me.

On my trip down the mountain, I heard the bird song once again. Now the song was only notes, no longer the words I had heard. I guess God knew I didn’t need the words at that moment.

“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted” (1 Peter 2:9-10, MSG).

Share This Blog:


Comments

Katherine Pasour From NC At 7/30/2022 3:32:53 PM

I felt your sadness and mourned for you. All authors join you in the pain of rejection. Only one thing I disagree with--your family does need you and loves you.

Reply by: Sarah Schwerin

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Katy Kauffman From At 7/30/2022 7:26:09 AM

I like it when God sends us little messages in a special way. He loves us and has a plan for us, even if we experience bumps in the journey. Keep writing, Sarah! I will too.

Reply by: Sarah Schwerin

You are so right and those bumps can become some of life's little joys.

Previous Posts

When Houses Fall
Sarah Schwerin
11/16/2022

An Invitation
Sarah Schwerin
9/21/2022

Planner Addict: What Happens When Plans Fail
Sarah Schwerin
9/16/2022

Fast Drivers and Two Brothers: When Life Isn't Fair
Sarah Schwerin
8/16/2022

Talking Birds
Sarah Schwerin
7/15/2022

Looking for a Leader: Reflections from the Gettysburg Battlefield
Sarah Schwerin
6/24/2022

Nap Hater: My Quest to Find Rest
Sarah Schwerin
5/3/2022

Dreams of Kenya
Sarah Schwerin
4/26/2022

Snow Days and Hearts that Lead Us Astray
Sarah Schwerin
4/13/2022

Can I Hide From God?
Sarah Schwerin
3/29/2022

Stitches and Waiting on God
Sarah Schwerin
3/25/2022

God’s Voice Or The Enemy’s?
By Sarah
3/3/2022

The Battles We Fight
By Sarah
3/3/2022

Drowning In Fear
By Sarah
3/2/2022

A Boring Bible Story, A Temple, And My Mom: A Devotion On Heaven
By Sarah
3/1/2022

Marriage Advice
By Sarah
2/28/2022

Does Idolatry Exist In Today’s World
By Sarah
2/27/2022

Underwear Blues
By Sarah
2/27/2022

A Voice In Chengdu
By Sarah
2/26/2022

Word Of The Year
By Sarah
2/25/2022

A New Year Challenge
By Sarah
2/24/2022

A Christmas Of Firsts And Lasts
By Sarah
2/23/2022

Christmas And The Suffering Servant: Hope For Abuse Survivors
By Sarah
2/22/2022

The Day I Stopped Watching Horror Movies
By Sarah - Life Lessons
2/21/2022

Waiting Arms
By Sarah
2/20/2022

I Messed Up, Again
By Sarah
2/19/2022

My Tribe: Autism Moms Are The Best
By Sarah
2/18/2022

When Words Wound
By Sarah
2/16/2022

Craving Acceptance
By Sarah
2/15/2022

When Innocent People Suffer
By Sarah
2/14/2022

Rubbish
By Sarah
2/12/2022

The Voices In My Head
By Sarah
2/11/2022

Buffets
By Sarah
2/10/2022

The Process Not The Product
By Sarah
2/9/2022

Hidden Snacks, Ice Cream, And Fairness
By Sarah
2/8/2022

Rootless
By Sarah
2/7/2022

You Never See The Potato Masher Coming
By Sarah
2/5/2022

Forgiveness
By Sarah
2/4/2022

The Unnamed Victim
By Sarah
2/1/2022

Engraved
By Sarah
1/31/2022

Left Handed Hero
By Sarah
1/30/2022

Quarantine Time
By Sarah
1/26/2022