A couple of weeks ago, I walked out of my front door to see a fallen robin’s nest lying upside down in my driveway. With some dread and trepidation, I turned over the nest to find two broken eggs; their blue shells a stark contrast to the small mess that spilled against the hard concrete. My heart contracted. A family had come undone either by a deliberate act or a careless one.
I debated about what to do with the remnants of this home. It would not go on to fill the measure of its creation. That much was clear. I thought about bringing it in the house so it could be displayed. After all, it was lovely. In the end, I decided to keep it outside and with reverence, I moved the nest to the base of the tree. As I picked it up, I could feel the fragility of it. In spite of its sturdy look, it was nothing more than bark, twigs, and grass all held together by strings and plugs of moss. Like all homes created with the best of what we have, it was a work of art.
The other day, I glanced out my kitchen window that looks onto the base of the tree where the nest is resting. I watched as a pair of juncos moved around the nest and began plucking out pieces of grass. They were searching for just the right size and shape. When several pieces fit the specific need, the little birds gathered them up, and flew to their own nest. From the ruins of another, these sweet little birds began the work of fulfilling the measure of their own fragile creation.
There are those who would say juncos are lesser birds than robins, and that whatever they could build would not match the splendor of the original plan or circumstances. Juncos are tiny, plainer, and their song isn’t as vibrant. Compared to the robins, they’re nest will be smaller and probably even more fragile. But they are still birds, and their babies aren’t any less precious.
We can pick up certain parts of our shattered experiences, and we can piece them together to create something good. It may not look like the creation we had planned and the loss of that beauty needs to be mourned. But when we’re ready, we can sift through the remnants and build another nest. It may be smaller and even more fragile, but whatever comes out of the ruins, even if it is very different than the original, is just as precious as what previously existed.
When we pair ourselves with our Savior, our nest will serve the purpose of its creation, no matter how small or ruined. The experiences born from this new nest will be just as meaningful as the nest that was lost. There is no lesser or greater in the eyes of God. There is only the nest we have.