Prodigal Altar Boy Blog
20 March 2012
A Lone Bird Singing In The Darkness
Officially, spring is here, and we have been seeing signs of it over the past few weeks. One sign for me has been the singing of birds. For the past week, while it is still dark, there’s one bird that starts singing. Maybe his “light detector” is calibrated a little ahead of his peers, but in the pitch black early morning hours; he is singing his song for all to hear. And it is beautiful. With no competing songs, I can really focus on this bird’s song and the song moves me.
Without anthropomorphizing too much, I wonder if the other birds fume as this bird begins to sing in the dark, “Hey, still dark here. Song time starts when it’s light!” When the sun finally comes up, are the other birds’ songs ones of complaint about the one that insists on singing while it is still dark?
That bird’s song moves me because he sings the song God has put on his heart. That bird sings the song in the dark because he was made that way. That bird sees the morning light a little sooner than the other birds. That bird is ahead of the curve and we could learn much from that bird.
How often do we see things we should address, but because no one else sees it, we keep quiet? How often do we chastise those who do speak out because no one else is speaking out? How often when we do speak out, we shrink back after our peers show their distaste for our song?
To piggyback on yesterday’s Hans Kung piece, I am amazed at how TQ saw the implications of the Second Vatican Council and worked to make people aware, long before the Council concluded. After the Council, he worked to focus on the theory of adaptation for liturgy to reframe the gospel for the present day. While many chastised TQ for those efforts, for many others, the result was a deeper understanding of the gospel and the role of Christians in society.
TQ, like Hans Kung, understood the importance of renewal in the church. Like songs in the early darkness, renewal is usually rejected or suppressed. TQ and Hans Kung continue to be songs in the dark. Now is the time to listen to those songs and take them into our hearts.