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The first Easter – a robin’s tale

A robin remembers the events of the first Maunday Thursday to Easter Sunday

I must have travelled hundreds of miles following the man they called Jesus. Flying just close enough to hear his words and watch all he did. He puzzled me at times but mostly my heart ached as I longed for the Kingdom he talked about – a Kingdom that started here on earth with love and compassion. With justice and healing.

You might think a man of his gravity would be all work and no play – but he liked a party too and met with alll sorts of folks. Not that I minded. I've feasted on many a crumb from under his table in my time! He made you marvel at him but he was a mystery too. You would just think you had the measure of him and he would surprise you again and again.

It's the last few days I remember the most. I'm an old robin now and it was many summers ago. But I remember what happened as if it was yesterday and I stlll shed tears sometimes as well as being filled with the joy of that morning in the garden.

The night in Gethsemane was hard. I perched on a branch just behind where he was sitting and watched him sob. His pain wracked my little body too. His disciples slept and I couldn't help but fly down closer onto a stone. I know he saw me and I was glad to be able to do something for him. Even if it was such a tiny thing as just staying beside him. I tried to sing but no tune would come. It was as if the weight of all he was carrying had drained the music out of his breast and mine.

But there was worse to come. Oh my dear ones, I can hardly bear to tell you what they did to him on that hill the following day. Nature can be harsh and I have seen many birds killed brutally and tragically but I have never seen anything as brutal as the sight that ripped my heart in two that Friday.

There were three of them: Jesus and two men they called thieves. They banged nails in their feet and hands and Jesus had a crown of thorns on his head too. His back was bleeding from the scourging and I wondered again about human beings and what they were capable of. He had healed so many and yes, he had done some things people didn't like, said some things that stung. But why oh why could they not see his goodness. How could they not see that he was different? I stayed as close as I could but I just couldn't bring myself to fly up onto the cross they had nailed him to. I wasn't afraid, I was just defeated and my wings had no flight in them.

I watched him die as I had watched him being jeered and abused and It felt as if the breath of all creation was slipping away. That night and the next day were a bit of a blur but I remember waking on the third day and feeling different. I can't explain it really but my song was back and I sang my heart out. I heard other birds singing too and the lambs on the hills seem to be skipping and playing in the grass with new energy and joy.

I flew over to the tomb where they had put him after his death and I knew. I knew he wouldn't be in there. I'm not one for 'experiences' or 'premonitions'. I was and still am a very ordinary little bird. But as I flew into the garden and saw the trees in blossom and the flowers vibrant and bright and the woman I knew to be Mary in conversation with a figure. I knew it was him and I sang. Oh how I sang and then it happened. He saw me and winked. He winked at me a tiny robin and my red breast swelled with joy and I think I blushed too!

So you see, even as I prepare for my death. I'm not sad. Even as I share my story with you, I'm not afraid. I didn't see him again after that morning but it didn't matter. Wherever I flew, wherever I sang my song. He sang with me.

It's time to say Goodbye now but think on my story and Happy Easter.

With thanks to Lynne Chitty

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