I have been really enjoying the red and blue birds that visit our backyard every day. They like to perch on the trampoline, fly around the yard and rest in the trees that line our property. Their vibrant red and blue color pops amongst the green foliage on the trees. They stand out. They display beauty just by being them. They are a beautiful part of nature’s story even though they do not blend in.
Sometimes a mockingbird is more attractive.
There is one bird that does things a little differently. The mockingbird mimics other birds’ songs and sounds. Sometimes I am more comfortable relating to the mockingbird. A singer/songwriter I love to listen to, Derek Webb, wrote a song entitled Mockingbird (check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewoMYUtcJMI) . The chorus says this:
“And I’m like a mockingbird.
I’ve got no new song to sing.
And I’m like an amplifier.
I just tell you what I’ve heard.
Oh, I’m like a mockingbird.”
We think we have to be just like others.
There are a few different reasons that I connect to the mockingbird. Sometimes I just want others to like me! How better to achieve this than to try and be like them. I need to agree with them, like the same music, and be on the same bandwagon they are on. I forget who I am and just copy their song. Nothing makes me madder than when I realize I’m doing that! Usually I start to dread being with that person I am trying to win over. It takes a lot of work to try and sing someone else’s song. They don’t get to know the real me, therefore the relationship stays surface.
Sometimes I prefer you to just tell me the answers.
There are other times that I just get tired of questioning things. I am exhausted from all the effort I have put into trying to figure things out on my own. It becomes easier to just “tell you what I’ve heard like a mockingbird”. We see this everyday as we watch the news and then tell that same news as if we experienced it first-hand ourselves. Unfortunately, we also see this in religious settings. We hear a preacher tell us who God is and then we just repeat these words and develop an image of Him based on what we have heard. There is no questioning things or even trying to understand things. We just believe what we hear and see, repeat it, and move on.
We cling to rules to find the solution to our problems.
Another part of Derek Webb’s song says:
“And I’ll do all I can
To be a better man
Oh I’ll clean up this act
And be worse than when we started.
And I am like a mockingbird….”
How many times have we clung to another’s words thinking that was going to be the solution to our problems? If I can just “clean up my act” and be like that person over there then I’ll “be a better man.” I catch myself developing a list of rules that will modify my behavior. We let these rules control our diets, exercise, bible study, prayer, etc. To lose weight I can only eat certain foods and I must exercise for 30 minutes 5 times weekly. To become a better Christian I must read my bible for 30 minutes daily and pray for at least 15 minutes. This makes me laugh just to say it but this stuff does control our daily lives! Normally it is in my failure to keep these rules and lack of change in my life that I am able to see that “cleaning up my act” doesn’t work. Nothing in my heart has changed or even been acknowledged. I am worse now than when I started trying because now I can just add failure to my list of problems.
Grace changes everything.
God knows I do these things and that I will do them over and over again. He graciously keeps reminding me that I am loved just as I am. I do not always embrace it or believe it, especially when I’m being a mockingbird, but He continues to gently whisper truth to me. There are times, though, when I do embrace it and it is so freeing. My relationships change and grow deeper. I am able to let someone love me and that changes everything.
Are there ways that you relate to the mockingbird? Leave a comment below and we can talk more about it.
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