Recently, during a stay at our cabin in the Sierra, I was stacking firewood outside and heard a loud bang. Looking around to where the sound had come from, I noticed a bird had evidently smacked into one of the cabin windows. It lay motionless and I exclaimed out loud “Oh No!”
Saying this reminded me of an article that I had read many years ago in the Christian Science Sentinel entitled “Don’t Go Down to the Plain of Oh No”. The author recalled that in the Bible story of Nehemiah, who is in charge of the work to restore the broken down walls surrounding Jerusalem, that an enemy continually asks him to come down to the plane of Ono to talk. Nehemiah recognizes that this was a ruse to stop the important work and wisely declines saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? “ This play on words reminded me that I too had important work to do (pray) and declined to go down to the plain of Oh No!
Jesus says in the book of Matthew “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered”. I reasoned that God must also have all the feathers counted on this little bird too. I silently vowed to witness in my thinking the unending fact of God’s care for this small but precious idea of His. I refused to allow even a look at the bird, feeling that it would distract me from the work of seeing this bird as God had made and maintained it.
I continued to pray with thoughts that came to me and even stacked a few more pieces of wood, feeling more and more confident that God was the source of this bird’s being. I did happen to look at some point and noticed that the little guy was now standing upright and moving his head. Rejoicing in this outward expression of the facts that I was witnessing in my thinking, I looked away again to affirm in my thought that no after effects or side effects could result from God’s constant, seamless care of his creation, which included this bird. Soon, heading into the cabin, I saw that the bird was no longer there!