Wren and Stimpy

posted Jul 29, 2022, 7:42 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,


Grace and peace to you in this season of Ordinary Time. 


For this Friday, I’d like to share a story from Olivia’s Forest.


As some of you may recall, when we loaded up the shoes last month for our mission to Uganda, we found a wren’s nest with two eggs among the bags of shoes. We felt terribly for little wren and her babies but there was nothing we could do. Eventually, I moved the nest from the garage out to the woods. And sighed.


About a week later, I noticed little wren going to-and-fro in the backyard, building another nest in a hole behind the light fixture on the garage. But here’s the extraordinary part, at least for me. A male wren sat on the top of the bird feeder, in a nearby tree, or on the faerie light wire and sang to her from sunrise to sunset. This went on for about a month — little wren making another nest, Stimpy, as Jamie named him, warbling away all day long with his mating call. To be sure, we knew when the sun was coming up by his song. I was impressed with their tenacity, patience, and persistence. Not to be deterred by the destruction of her first nest, Wren “made a way out of no way” and Stimpy joined her. 


And then suddenly, he stopped singing, but he was still sitting on his various perches around the yard. Curious, I walked over to the nest area and smiled. The relentless “cheep, cheep, cheep” of new born birds coming from the nest told me why he had paused his song. Now, Wren and Stimpy are persistent in another manner — all day long, from sunrise to sunset, they are flying into the forest, capturing bugs and bringing them back to their hungry fledglings. I can’t wait to meet their little ones, so I can say to them what my friend Tom Goodhart shared about finding hatched eggs, “I knew you when you were but a song in your father’s throat.” 


I don’t have any great theological reflection to offer regarding Wren and Stimpy, merely this: tenacity, patience, persistence, relentlessness — all the qualities of God’s love and care for us. I am grateful I get to live in a place where I can be reminded of this truth and bear witness to the simple glory of God’s creation that does this reminding.


Come to worship in the sanctuary this Eighth Sunday after Pentecost in person or on Facebook live to celebrate God’s steadfast love for us. Tom Martucci will be leading us in song as we worship our God with music. I will be preaching from Luke 12.13-21 — the parable of the rich fool — and my sermon title is A Soul Investment. 


Also, the Coventry House Summer Nights Gathering is ON for tonight at 7 unless it is raining. If you come, you can meet Wren and Stimpy! 


See you tonight or on Sunday.


In gratitude for the joy of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

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