Monday, May 18, 2009

" An Old Friend "

As I was leaving church this morning, had a little secretary work to do, I ran into an old friend of mine. I have some fond memories of this fine feathered fellow. At least in my mind he's a fellow! I didn't always have pleasant memories of this fellow. oh no, quite the contrary. First I have to say that I'm really not sure if he is the same bird whose path I crossed a couple of years ago. But if he's not, he must be a family member as his habits are the same as those of the bird that was there when I was the church custodian.
Back then I had more energy. My hands, hips and knees didn't hurt as much from the arthritis like they do now. I loved cleaning the church. I used to be a perfectionist. I still am in my mind. It's my body that won't allow me that anymore.I received great satisfaction from keeping everything as clean as I could. I especially loved cleaning the sanctuary. I felt as though I had my own personal time with our lord and the added bonus that I was actually doing something for him. Maybe it sounds silly,but it was how I felt.
One of my responsibilities as custodian was to keep all of the windows clean. That was a daunting task. I had this fantastic squeegee that worked really, well but it still was very time consuming. One time the streaks on one of the sanctuary windows literally brought me to tears. Yeah, I was that bad. After experimenting with different window cleaners, I had found a commercial brand that worked pretty good.

One day when I came to clean, I had noticed lots of dead smashed and smeared bugs on the bottom of the glass sanctuary doors. I would clean the bugs off,which was not easy after they were baking in the sun for awhile, and then again a day or two later more dead bugs. Over and over. I really didn't know what to think. were these bugs trying to commit suicide? It was a mystery but what could I do, other then keep cleaning them off the windows. Over and over.
I remember one day in particular when I was mopping the hall floor. You must keep in mind, most of the time I was in the church by myself. I know for a fact that there are some people that don't like being alone in church for whatever reason. I however loved it. Cleaning for me has always been mindless work, so it was wonderful letting my thoughts wander to different places. Mostly I would have conversations with God. Very peaceful. On this day however I heard a knock,knocking in the sanctuary. Which from where I was cleaning was not visible. It's a shame in our world today that we have to leave the church doors locked. Except of coarse when there are meetings, activities and services. I remember as a young girl when all of the church's were left open and you could walk in anytime to sit and pray. Well the past is the past. Back to the knocking. Knock, knock, knock. I put my mop down into the bucket. Knock, knock, knock. I started heading for the sanctuary. Knock, knock, knock. O.K. I'm coming, I'm thinking as I round the corner to the sanctuary. Quietly of coarse, you never know who it could be. Apparently I was a pretty good sneak. He didn't hear or see me. The mystery was solved that day. I should have thought of it before. It was Mr. Bird. He was poking the bugs and using the window to smash and eat them!
It took me some time to get used to the mess that this bird would regularly make on the windows. It got to the point that when I would hear "Caw,Caw", I knew there would be another mess to clean yet again. And I don't really know when it happened, but I started to enjoy seeing him and hearing his " Caw ". It got to the point where he no longer flew off when he saw me, at least not every time. I suppose it depended on how hungry he was that day! After a time his mess of bug carcasses didn't even phase me. I started looking forward to seeing him.
Eventually I had to give up cleaning the church, which to this day I still miss. But at least from time to time I get to see my old friend.


Eileen said...

This post was great!!
I love the way you write, you make me feel like I am right there beside you.
And how beautiful to be able to spend that time with the Lord, in His service. What a nice relationship you must have with Him, and what a beautiful bonding experience. I can see why you cherished that time spent with Him.

And the bird!! How cute that he became a friend!
I loved this story, Diana!

Wanda said...

Good story Diana you chose to enjoy the bird instead of letting it annoy you...We had a Cardinal peck at our window off and on all day every day for over a year...placed fake snakes around, covered it with a sheet for a while...but he would just go below and under it...we gave up...he eventually slowly stopped on his own...Be careful...he could follow you home! :)

Bernie said...

Hi Diana, loved your story about cleaning the church and of course about the bird. I too remember being able to stop into the church to pray whenever I felt the need. You are right, our church doors were never locked and we had real candles to light. Everything has changed now and perhaps not for the better, but the root of the matter in my mind is that the church hasn't changed but society has and as people we have brought on the need for change. Why some people choose drugs over prayer I'll never understand but I believe that is why our churches are being locked as so many things were being stolen. So sad really, I hope your arthritis is better, I know what that's like my friend, take care and have a wonderful day...:) Hugs, Bernie

Blessings each day said...

That was so cute...I liked the part where the bug carcasses no longer bothered you! Guess the bird was at least helping gardeners, although he made more work for poor Diana.

I, too, love the few times I have been alone in is a great communion with God a those times. In Germany I helped with cleaning the altar linens (no easy task as it might seem), but very rewarding spiritually!

And I agree with Eileen, you make a person feel as if they were right there with nice!



Ginny said...

I forgot about your bird visitor. Glad you got a photo of him or his family member. I wonder if the dead bugs still show up on the sanctuary door?

Teresa said...

Hi Diana, I love a good Mystery! This was a great story. I used to clean the church too...I can relate to the feeling of being alone there...with the Lord.

Linda Higgins said...

Well thank goodness he was at the church! I think I would have been a little leary if I had run into him any other place! Reminds me of "The Birds" Alfred Hitchcock! Fun story! hugs....