Birds of the Air: You're an Original

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Matthew 6:26

One of my favorite painters is John James Audubon, known for his book Birds of America. I love his work so much that I painted oversized versions of my favorite birds to hang in my house. Birds are a reminder that I don’t have to worry. They represent freedom and hope, and also, frankly, I wish I could fly.

I’m thankful for Audubon’s work. To me, his birds are beautiful and free. As I was inspired to paint some of his more famous birds for my home, I realized it’s impossible to copy an original. We have different styles, different colors, and different eyes that we see the world through. My version of an Audubon bird is an original, because there’s only one.

When I look at people, I remember each person is one of a kind and when I dwell on that, I’m reminded I am too. I don’t need to worry about trying to be like other people. I need to accept the me that God created me to be. Matthew 6:26 helps me when I find myself at a place with a racing mind and an unsettled heart. I’m usually hardest on myself. I start comparing my insides with someone else’s outsides and, before I know it, I’m an anxious mess.

When I worry about not measuring up and falling short, I think about the birds. The flamingo doesn’t look at an egret and say “Dang, I wish I had a longer beak.” They’re just birds being birds and let God take care of the rest. I want this collection to serve as a reminder that if God takes care of them, He’ll do the same for us.