When your Feathers are Ruffled

by | Mar 15, 2015 | Life & Faith | 11 comments

If there’s one constant in my life, it’s the daily presence of my birdy friends each morning as I stand at the window with my coffee and watch them on my deck.  

They teach me so much.

My husband and I have had our eyes on one dark-eyed junco that’s among the busy, hopping crowd that visits our feeders each day.

There’s a tuft of black feathers at the top/back of his head that is sticking out, all cowlicky-like; it’s been there all week. I thought by now it’d be flattened out, giving him his appropriate junco look. But no–still ruffled feathers.

Poor guy. I wonder if he knows how funny he looks.  I wonder if the bunchy-ness slows down his flights to and from our bushes. (you know, messing up the windflow over his aerodynamic body. Maybe?)
The feathers are still smooshed together like a small fin at the top of his head.

No wonder.  
I told my husband, “Well of course. There’s no bird around that can groom him, pat his little birdy head and make it all better.  He can’t reach his head himself, either.”

“What’s a bird to do?”

“What are WE to do,” I thought.

When we can’t see how funny we look? When our feathers are ruffled–upset about something or other, offended, angry?  When there’s a hindrance that slows us down in our daily forays into the world?  

Immediately I thought of the body of Christ. There’s a reason God refers to the church, his people, as a living, breathing body. Some people are the hands, for reaching up to pat us on the head when we need it. Some people are the arms, to point to the way of help so we can grow. Some people are the fingers, to gently smooth our ruffled feathers. They might reach out with a kind touch or even a cautionary forefinger at the lips, with a ‘shhhhh!’ when we’re in danger with our words.

Thank God for the body of Christ. Thank God for His Creation.  It all speaks of His glory!

All we have to do is look and have a heart and eyes to see.

This post is part of the #SmallWonder link up, led by Kelly Chripczuk over at 
‘A Field of Wildflowers’.
Each week we choose to intentionally look for small moments of wonder, the “small sparks of presence, delight or sorrow, of true humanity” in which we see God.
You’re invited each week to gather and share one moment of Small Wonder from your days (in a brief post of 500 words or less).
And if there’s more than 500 words in what you have to say, 
you’re welcome to come as you are.


  1. Love your descriptions of what the body can do for one another–fitting additions to Paul's metaphors!

  2. It always amazes me how the birds find their way through the ice and snow. I love to see their little birdy prints…. So glad Spring is on its way in your neck of the woods!

  3. I'm loving filling the feeders here and watching the birds come and go. After a recent ice storm they kept slipping down the roof shingles, adorable. John watched a whole documentary recently about crows – he loved it. Keep watching and wondering, friend 🙂

  4. So glad you had someone close by with the needed arms, hands or 'feathers.'
    thanks for reading, Elizabeth.

  5. thank you, Joanne. In the avian category, sometimes I feel like a confident, noisy rooster, other days like a harried peacock. Now, there's a picture, eh? I appreciate your words here.

  6. Oh, Lisa, I think YOU are a Feather-Smoother-Outer, I just have a feeling. Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

  7. Oh, yes, God's creation has a lot to teach us. I know you love the animal-y ways He speaks.

  8. Birds are some of my favorite teachers 🙂 I love this, Jody.

  9. Thankful for those hands that smooth our ruffled feathers. 🙂 Love this imagery, Jody. I can put a face to several of these categories.

  10. Jodie, I loved this post as it so depicts each of us. Some days we are in desperate need of having our feathers smoothed. And some days, we are called to do the smoothing. Beautiful picture of how the Body was meant to operate so that we all remain spiritually healthy. Grateful to have been your neighbor this morning at #SmallWonder.

  11. I was that birdie today needing my feathers smoothed down. Thanks friend.


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