Holding Everything With An Open Hand


Forward

Today, my future looks so very different from how I imagined it looking. Today, everything is swinging in a balance that could tip at any moment. Today, all my questions seem to just dredge up even more questions.

Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe you are at a stage in your life where the things you had to look forward to (musicals, graduations and after parties, photography showcasings, drama presentations, etc.) are suddenly stripped away without warning because of COVID-19.

I have to tell you a secret: You CAN'T control viral outbreaks, nor can you control how much damage they do. But you CAN choose to trust in Jesus and his completed work on the cross. You CAN choose joy and gratitude amidst all the pain and suffering.

Philip Kendall's newest release, "Open Hand", reminded of this.

Even though I am holding all of my dreams and plans with open hands knowing that they could be taken from me, I am still doing my absolute best to chose hope and joy. I am still trusting God as I watch things unfold the way that he would have them unfold.

Sometimes, we just need to take joy in the small things. Like watching small brown birds eat stale bread from our open hand.

Grace Columbine

03/18/2020

 

Open Hand

There was a garden in the back of the house where Carlo and Himo spent their childhood. At that time, their father spent the afternoons in the garden while the birds sang, pretending to be absorbed in the rare and beautiful flowers while he watched his children play.

Carlo was a wandering child, and his curiosity knew no bounds. He would wander between tall hedges, marveling at the flowers that grew on them, gaze at the lilies on the pond, observe the path of the bees or the butterflies as they flitted from flower to flower. Sometimes, attracted by an especially beautiful flower or a startlingly bright blade of grass, he would bend his eye to the ground and to the little ants and beetles that dwelt therein. However, these did not hold him long, and soon a bright bird or butterfly on the wing would pull his attention away.

Himo had scarcely more of an attention span than Carlo did. He would keep his eye on one ant, determined to follow it all the way home, when his attention was distracted by another, smaller ant, or a beetle, or a worm that slithered between the blades of grass. Sometimes he climbed into trees to see the spiders that lived in them, but the flight paths of animals in the sky soon drew his attention away.

As they grew older, their attention became more focused. Himo began to build things – sandcastles in the sandbox; palaces made of roadside stones, with carpets of grass; hunting camps composed of leaves for tents, with acorns as hunters within. Occasionally he would catch a beetle or a few ants and try to trap them in his constructions as residents, but always they got away. Himo was perplexed by this. He had built them a home, and they left it? But he determined that his next home would be even more escape-proof. Then the residents would truly be able to enjoy it.

Carlo tried to join Himo in his building, but found such pursuits boring. For some time, his garden wanderings were zestless, as he sought from place to place for a thing to alight on.

Carlo was walking through the garden with a sandwich in his open hand when a little brown bird suddenly alighted on it and stole away part of the sandwich. Carlo was too surprised to move. For the briefest moment, they stood there, staring at each-other, the bird and the boy. Then, with a polite nod in his direction, the bird tore away an even larger mouthful, swallowed it, and flew away.

For a moment, Carlo considered crying. But the delight of a bird alighting on his open hand banished the tears, and he began to smile. Quickly, he stuffed the rest of the sandwich in his mouth and ran inside for more bread.

Now it was Himo’s turn to find no joy in what he was accustomed to do. For days, he watched as his brother, wherever he walked, was greeted by dozens of small birds, each one alighting briefly on his open hand and departing.

Sometimes Carlo had bread, and sometimes only a kind word for each bird, but the birds came regardless, and seemed to enjoy the friendship almost as much as the free food.

Himo ruminated on this for some time, while his palaces fell into disrepair and his hunting camps disintegrated. He began to watch the birds of the garden carefully, seeking an opportunity.

Finally, one day, Himo came across a small brown bird tugging fiercely at a worm. Without a thought, Himo pounced! and the bird was his. He closed his hands tightly around the soft, warm body, as the feathers fluttered frantically against his palms.

“Don’t be afraid,” Himo whispered. “I’m not going to hurt you.” But somehow, the bird did not understand.

Concern grew in Himo’s heart as the bird’s struggles became stranger, more erratic. Its eyes bugged out, and it seemed to be flopping to one side.

“Stop it!” yelled Carlo, coming around a corner. “You’ll hurt it!” He struck upward violently, knocking the bird from Himo’s hands. Both boys watched in horror as the bird arced upwards. It flapped its wings frantically, but somehow, could not fly.

A large brown hand reached out and caught the little brown bird. Carefully cradling the animal in an open hand, the boys’ father came to face them.

Himo saw the bird, saw the obviously broken wing, saw the obvious distress in the small animal, and began to cry.

“What did you do that for!” demanded Carlo. “You can’t hold a bird like that, you idiot!”

“Don’t worry. The bird will be alright,” their father soothed them both equally.

“Carlo, will you run and get me a box – there’s a big one in my office, with holes in the lid. Himo, go ask mom to get you the baking soda from the kitchen and the first aid kit.”

They carefully wrapped the broken wing against the little brown bird’s body, putting on the baking soda first. Himo looked down at the beautiful little animal, so small and fragile-looking in the box beside a dish of water it could fit inside and a piece of bread nearly as big as it was. He remembered how soft and alive it had felt as he broke its wing. Once again, tears sprang to his eyes.

Himo’s father hugged him hard. “It’s okay. The bird will live.”

“I did it,” he cried. “I broke the bird’s wing! It’s my fault!”

“I know,” said his father. “But you also tried to fix it. The bird will survive. And you learned something from this, too.”

Himo nodded through his tears. “You have to hold a bird with an open hand.”

Philip Kendall

Latest Edition 03/13/2020

 

Meet the Author

Philip Kendall has graced Dakar Academy's Central Campus with his presence since August of 2019. Equipped with witty humor, philosophical inquiries, and a God-given way with words, Philip has been filling the world with well-written works since he could hold a pencil.

The award winning (1st place in No-Shave November) author has talent enough to knock you to your knees in contemplation of life's complexities. Bold in his pursuit of captivating audiences across the globe, Philip draws inspiration from that fountain that is his own life's experiences.

Each literary piece carries with it a new perspective, fresh eyes. With so many inspirational outlooks on life, one cannot help waltzing through a new day.

It has been my great pleasure to work with Philip on this blog share. It is my hope to be blessed with the privilege of publishing and releasing more of his written works in the future.

Here's to fresh eyes, and happy reading!