Notes from Jan

Cardinal Truths

January 2, 2016

Chad called to wish me a  Happy New Year.  Woke me out of a sound sleep since he’s on EST and I’m on the other coast.  Not a cardinal sin since it  was 7 a.m. out here.  I love when he calls, no matter when or why.  He updated me on the work on their house, the girls then added,”Saw two Cardinals this morning.”

That triggered thoughts of this poem by John Leax. Those who attended Jud’s memorial service last January, may recall the poem printed on the inside cover of the program.

AT THE WINTER FEEDER       by John Leax

His feather flame doused dull by icy cold,

the cardinal hunched

into the rough, green feeder

but ate no seed.

through binoculars I saw

festered and useless

his beak, broken

at the root

Then two: one blazing, one gray,

rode the swirling weather

into my vision

and lighted at his side.

Unhurried, as if possessing

the patience of God,

they cracked sunflowers

and fed him

beak to wounded beak

choice meats.

Each morning and afternoon

the winter long,

that odd triumvirate,

that trinity of need,

returned and ate

their sacrament

of broken seed.

On this second day of the New Year,  it is my hope-full prayer that this poem encourages you to continue to be God’s Cardinals to broken ones and to be blessed and nourished by those God sends to tend you with “the sacrament of broken seed.”

Thank you for reading these posts and keeping in touch, dear Cardinals. You look good to me as you show up in blazing  or gray plumage, natural reminders that we need each other to make it HOME.


This story has been viewed 30 times

3 people HEART this story


  • Reply Randall K. Mathews January 2, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Jan:

    We miss your presence at CCH but are so happy that you can enjoy the love and attention of your California family. They are true Cardinals!

  • Reply Linda Moore January 2, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    I love your heart, your words, you! Enjoy your time with your family

  • Reply Sue Andringa January 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Love the poem … and we DO need each other to “make it HOME”! xoxo

  • Reply Kathy January 2, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Dear Jan – I am so happy that I found your blog. I remember so well your visit to Paducah and First Baptist Church in 1993. What a wonderful weekend that was for us. Your posts are such a blessing, as was that retreat. Kathy

  • Reply Cathy Thiele January 3, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Wishing you a good year, dear Jan. Much love to you always. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Reply Dale Lefever January 3, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks Jan,

    However, the real “cardinal”sin is that it’s the male with the beautiful colors – one of God’s counter-intuitive moves! The poem reminds me of Oswald Chamber’s common theme of being “broken bread and poured out wine” for those God brings into our lives. Many are feeding off you, so stay nourished in Him.

    Love, Dale

  • Reply Wendy Lane January 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    So now I’m a cardinal AND a sheep! Hehe <3

  • Share Your Thoughts

    WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :