He sits outside my window year 'round. Something tells me I told you about him already. No matter. He's worth telling about every winter, 'cause he helps me get through every winter.
Not that I don't notice him in the summer too. But then he's surrounded by raspy starlings and grackles and redwings, not to mention the huge supply of sparrows that my neighbor's incessant feeding attracts. There's an occasional jay or goldfinch, and even a hungry hawk that brings silent tension to the bird-hood.
So he doesn't stand out.
But when not only the birds, but the leaves are gone, what a spectacle is the brilliantly red cardinal! Just seeing him stirs something so deep... And I just know that if he could utter his thoughts, he'd be saying something like, "Hang on bro', just a little longer. Pretty tough out here now, pretty barren, pretty ugly, and downright uncomfortable, but us strong birds hang on, and we see good things when it's all over."
Yeah, that's him. That's the message. Of course right away I'm in North Korea, wishing he, or I, or someone, could say those very words, or chirps, or whatever, to the believers there. "Hang on friends of Jesus. Just a little while, it'll be springtime - forever. You can make it. Be faithful to death. Don't deny Jesus. He loves you still, but you acquired a great enemy when you came to Jesus for salvation."
This is the "winter of our discontent," as Shakespeare would have it. Or as C.S. Lewis describes, "always winter, but never Christmas." These are hard times for Christians. North Korea has been experiencing non-stop "winter" for 60 years! Oh much more, if you count the sordid history of attack by this and that nation. A barren desolate ugly cold wintertime.
But Jesus comes. To individuals. To the world one day. "The promised kiss of springtime that makes the lonely winter seem long..." That's Jesus. We've just got to stay on that branch and hang on.
Look for Bob Faulkner's home page on http://sermonaudio.com There you will find a combination of love for the Scriptures and a desire for North Korean believers to have their needs met. There are nearly 300 blogs, over 200 Bible teaching MP3's, lists of resources, NK picture albums, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together! Contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. Would love to fellowship with believers who respond.