By: Gabriela Yareliz
Robins have always been my favorite bird. They were always perched by my window just around my birthday in Michigan, while growing up. So, imagine my joy when I saw a little section dedicated to the Robin in my little British Almanac.
I learned they are one of the few birds that keeps singing into the depths of winter. “Their large eyes mean they are well attuned to dusky light, and they are often among the first birds to start singing in the morning and the last to stop at night.” (The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2022, Lia Leendertz). I didn’t know this but part of the reasoning behind their singing is to defend their territory.
People also say that the red breast was a “splash of the blood of Christ” as the bird sang to comfort Him while on the cross. I found this all very interesting. I think the Robin offers us some valuable spiritual lessons:
a. Sing: I was reminded of the Pathfinders, which is sort of like my church’s Boy/Girl Scouts club for teens. Part of the creed is you make a promise to keep a song in your heart. The Robin is the first to start singing and the last to stop. Music has the power to change our dispositions. Hell, I think it was Bono who said music has the power to change a life. Much of Scripture is written music and poetry. Music is a form of worship. In these trying times, one would do well to rise up and make sure one has a song on one’s heart.
b. Defend: A Robin sings to defend its territory. It is a very territorial bird. I saw a quote by Bobby Sausalito that said, “Defense, duty and self-preservation is inherently inconvenient.” We often take this posture in life that we are here to enjoy or have an easy ride, and if you don’t have that, you are doing something wrong or not “manifesting” it enough. But in the other words by Bobby Sausalito, “The world is garbage.” Yes, the world is a dumpster fire, and the truth is that we aren’t here for easy. We are here taking part in what Scripture reveals to be a spiritual battle. “Bravery is a decision. Courage is a decision. Greatness is a decision. Effort is a decision. Freedom is a decision. Inaction is surrender.” (Bobby Sausalito) So, rather than wishing for some fake alternate reality that will never come true, what if we armored up, kept that song in our hearts and defended what is ours? Our minds, our hearts, our families. Many will say it’s inconvenient, however, we were born for such a time as this.
c. Covered: Was there a Robin at the cross? Probably not. (I wasn’t there, though). That whole explanation for the red breast sounds like a great folktale to me. One thing I do know is that we are never alone. And what the Robin’s red breast does remind us of is that when we enter into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, we are covered by his blood. We are covered by His love, righteousness and strong right hand.
He has saved us. He will defend us. He will strengthen us. He will place a song in our heart. No matter what happens, we too can sing into the depths of winter.