Sitting surrounded by quiet and the lone candle of my screen, color seeps into grays around my hairline while I watch a Cardinal couple flit circuitously from branch to hanging basket to statue to a ground of covered leaves. I’m passing the time, I think.

I don’t currently own any pets but these birds have chosen me for years. The mottled red and gold throat of the male sets him apart from the sleek, clean carpeted crimson throats of the masses. He looks as though he’s mistakenly taken a bath in ash, wearing the story of redemption on his wings.

It’s the obvious difference in those blotchy feathers that allows the ease of forgiveness as he swings on the feeder. For his wife holds the lone red bud in her beak, amid ruffles of white on the begonia swinging outside my window.

There is something beautiful and endearing about revealed brokenness, like God granting permission to breathe.

They say Moses wasn’t an ordinary child when he was born, but they weren’t talking about how he looked. They were describing his destiny. (Acts 7:20)

Somewhere in between our first and last breath, we lose the ability to become extraordinary, mistaking blending in and ordinariness as the pathway for success.

It’s when we discover the beauty of our brokenness that we can imagine the person we are yet to become. God uses our life for purpose, not because of who we are but because of who we are not.

And perhaps it’s the presence of Jesus represented in the Cardinal that holds my attention, His body once stripped and mottled with blood; the ash of my sin smudging his chest.  Yes, there is something beautiful about revealing the imperfection of our brokenness because of the story it represents.

We are free to be extraordinary in the masses because there has never been, nor will there ever be, an ordinary human born among us.


This post is inspired by Erwin McManus who said, “Our imagination is the playground of God,” in Sunday’s sermon.

Linking with Laura, Michelle, Jen.