This is a pin-tailed whydah. On a list of "most desirable birds to have in your garden", he would be dead last, right next to pigeons. The pin-tailed whydah is a bully, chasing all the other birds away, laying eggs in another bird's nest (thereby avoiding parental responsibility), and generally being a nuisance.
This particular bird - the one in the photo - has been flying into my window all day, every day, for more than a month. I think he sees his reflection as another bird and is defending his territory. From about 04h30 in the morning on, one can hear the Thunk! Thunk! Thunk! of him flying into the glass. It is driving me crazy! He disrupts my sleep, disturbs my quiet, and is nearly impossible to ignore.
This morning in church, one of the pastors mentioned the relentless love of God. I wrote the phrase down with the intent to think upon it later. What does it mean to love relentlessly, to love with a determination that does not diminish in intensity or duration? Is that even possible? And if so, why bother?
This afternoon, I was trying to read when the familiar Thunk! Thunk! Thunk! appeared at my window. I was so cross; can that bird not leave me alone for ONE afternoon? And that's when it hit me: that bird is relentless... just like God's love. Determined, persistent, not wavering in intensity or duration, and nearly impossible to ignore. Only God doesn't fly into windows to demonstrate His love for us. God is more creative than that. God got our attention in the form of a newborn baby born into abject poverty, Who grew up to defy all of the accepted social discourses of the day in order to show us how to be fully alive, fully free and fully human.
I can't say that I fully understand that kind of love, but I would like to lean into it and trust it a little bit more...