According to this CBS News story (, the Covid-driven human hibernation of 2020’s spring likely prompted an ornithological flourishing: a significant increase in the presence of 80% of observed bird species in or near areas inhabited by humans. Birds rushed in to fill the void of our ordinary din.

Quietude attends reverence. A moment of silence marks a memorial anniversary. Unspoken prayer anticipates communion. Sabbath kneels to holiness. Ceremonies transport us across thresholds into a space where we can see what we normally ignore. At Jesus’ baptism, the heavens open, the Spirit descends like a dove, and God speaks. Stillness is a simple ceremony inviting what our noisy distractions normally exclude to descend into the void, to light nearby, and maybe even to nest.

Considering what birds bring—from majesty to hilarity, from curiosity to beauty–we should consider a daily dose of what quarantine’s inconvenience coerced. What God’s Spirit brings will undoubtedly be worth the pause.

Paraphrasing Jesus per Luke’s account: Life is more than anxiety, more than food and clothing. Give attention to the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! Busyness and anxiety will not add a single hour to your life. Instead, seek his kingdom, and let him add what really matters.

This week, may we pause quietly for God to speak, and listen gratefully when he does.