It was just an ordinary late summer afternoon. I was relaxing on our deck with a book that took me back to16th century England—a happy escape from all the messiness of our 21st century! As I turned a page, I looked up into the stillness. And there he was. A tiny wren. Sitting quiet and alone on the railing. Little head, little body, and little stand-up tail all alert and taut, but no sound.
I whistled something I thought was similar to his call. He bobbed his head, flicked his tiny body this way and that, arched his head in my direction, and truly seemed to be listening ever so closely.
I whistled again. In response, he chirped a deep throaty trill, a kind of gutteral gibberish. I can’t begin to reproduce his sounds—they were so unlike his usual crisp, clear call. Almost as though this little creature was speaking in tongues! We didn’t have an interpreter, so I have no idea what he was trying to say, but he was clearly directing his husky warbling to me!
Then he became quiet as he again bobbed and twitched and stretched his tiny head toward me, as if to say, “your turn.” It was all so delightfully playful! I whistled again, and again he responded, a chattering from somewhere deep in his throat.
The pattern repeated itself over and over again, and our charmingly intimate conversation lasted for several minutes, reaching across the deck and spanning the gulf between human and bird.
I was enthralled! He seemed more perplexed than enthralled, quite honestly, but he kept at it until, eventually, he decided he’d had enough and hopped into the bushes surrounding the deck. But for those few brief shining moments, we were mysteriously linked—deep calling to deep—our spirits joined in a lively, almost holy dance of sounds never to be forgotten. I sat in silence for awhile, humbled and blessed by this hallowed encounter and realized anew that God speaks to us in so many different languages.