I usually miss the official spring service of The Messiah. But not on purpose. I grew up hearing my Daddy practicing the music as he prepared for the yearly Easter event at our church. Humming, whistling or just bursting out with a word here or there. Wonderful. Counselor. He loved to sing. And he loved to improvise on the piano in his own special method. Having played in the band, he knew music but I don't know if he ever took piano lessons.
I'm not up with the roosters. I'm up with those earliest of morning birds. My favorite morning birds bursting with the joy in a dark morning. I don't know what wakes them up but you could set your watch by them.
When I was little, for some reason, I would wake up in the middle of the dark early morning which seems to be the darkest time of day. I was wide awake and afraid, probably because every noise in the night had to have a reason and I would lie in bed trying to figure out in my nine year old mind what caused the noise.
One particular morning I was terrified. I woke up and thought a man was crouched in the shadow at the end of my twin bed. I had a foot board so I couldn't see but I had hung a small hat at the top of the short poster. It may sound funny now but I was scared beyond scared. I couldn't decide what to do. I could see the man and he wasn't moving and he wasn't leaving. Of course, my mind probably couldn't reason enough to realize a real person couldn't crouch in this position forever and especially not breathing!
After what seemed an eternity of not moving my own position, I came up with a plan. I can hear my trembling voice as if I were saying the words right now. I didn't want anyone to be hurt and I wanted him to leave. Most of all, as a fan of too many detective movies, I knew I didn't want to see his face. You have to believe me when I say I had been waiting a long time figuring this out. This person's knees were most likely permanently frozen into place. But I didn't know that. I knew I wanted my Daddy.
I yelled out into the dark. "STAY DOWN! STAY DOWN! I don't want to see your face. STAY DOWN! STAY DOWN!" Of course my plan had not gone much farther as to who would leave the room first. Well, he didn't move. In the background, I could hear the first early bird beginning to chirp. To this day, I love that sound of morning around the corner. And then another different bird. I cried out again so loud I hoped my father would wake up and hear me.
He came hurrying down the hall, opened the door and turned on the light, running to my side. What was wrong? Of course, then all my bravery of resisting the man at the foot of the bed gave way to tears, finally. My father picked up the cap on the poster, holding it up to show me. He didn't laugh at me because he could see it wasn't funny.
How blessed to have a father who would come running to me, in the dark as I cried out, too scared to move. And how wonderful to have a Heavenly Father perching The Early Bird on a branch near my window, reminding me it may be dark now but morning light is just around the corner. And a chorus of morning birds singing Hallelujah, The Prince of Peace.