Recently I was reading in Nehemiah about how Nehemiah was homesick, sad and burdened for the city of his ancestors. In an age where it seems every other commercial is advertising Ancestry.com and finding out about your ancestors, that’s what was going on with Nehemiah. He knew his ancestors, but was sad to know the city where his ancestors were buried was in ruins. It took a lot of planning, letter writing so he could safely travel through different territories and took a protection detail because Nehemiah worked for a king.
Nehemiah arrives in Jerusalem and the city he remembered and loved wasn’t there. It changed dramatically. He was there three days and seemed to be nervous about telling the people there why he came – to rebuild.
Returning “home” after being gone for years is a mixed bag of emotions. I’m not the same person I was and friends and family aren’t the same people they were. Everyone’s lives marched on, took different paths and we weren’t there in the learning curves/hilltop highs/lonely lowlands. But, that’s why it’s important to take time to rebuild, give grace to one another and commit to rebuild.
As I was sitting at our table reading this passage, reflecting on it, thinking about the parallel to our lives; I looked out the window and saw birds. Last year I enjoyed watching birds build a nest on the gutter of our neighbor’s house. I enjoyed watching the baby bird heads emerge over the edge of the nest. I enjoyed watching the mama bird fly out to gather and feed her babies. I enjoyed watching her mother. When it was time for the babies to leave the nest all but one left. I watched the mama nudge the last one out with her head and beak, literally pushing the baby out of the nest. Once all the babies were airborne, the mama left the nest and it sat empty. As I was reading this passage, a bird flew into that empty nest. Another bird came along and a new family moved in. I don’t know if it’s the same bird returning to her nest or not. The birds flew around and were rebuilding parts of the nest that was in ruins to prepare the nest.
I feel like I’m in a season of rebuilding. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.