You're welcome just as long as you will stay.

During a recent trip to an antique store, I purchased a Nature Magazine from 1956 and have thoroughly enjoyed reading through it. It has a lot of great pictures and illustrations, interesting commentary on how humans interact compassionately with nature, and many articles that seem to engage nature with an eye for faith - way cool, right?
There is also a lot of nature-related poetry scattered throughout, and there was one poem I really loved.

Purple Heart Award

A bit of ham-fat in a shiny pan
(That once contained a little frozen pie)
Attracted one small warbler, come to scan
Our shrubbery for insects. Quick and shy,
He landed on the window feeding-tray
Then sat as weightlessly as a cotton fluff
Upon the pan's edge, where he pecked away
Until the jealous linnets drove him off.
"Coward!" I whispered as he fluttered down
And later wished the epithet unspoken:
He came again, alone. One foot hung down
And then I saw his tiny leg was broken.

Little wounded soldier, hear me say
"Your welcome just as long as you will stay."

- Ruth Seymour Vesely



Ran across this today, and it stirred some helpful thought and processing...
An excerpt from Henry Nouwen's The Wounded Healer:

But the more I think about loneliness, the more I think that the wound of loneliness is like the Grand Canyon - a deep incision in the surface of our existence which has become an inexhaustible source of beauty and self-understanding.

Therefore I would like to voice loudly and clearly what might seem unpopular and maybe even disturbing: The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift. Sometimes it seems as if we do everything possible to avoid the painful confrontation with our basic human loneliness and allow ourselves to be trapped by false gods promising immediate satisfaction and quick relief. But perhaps the painful awareness of loneliness is an invitation to transcend our limitations and look beyond the boundaries of our existence. The awareness of loneliness might be a gift we must protect and guard, because our loneliness reveals to us an inner emptiness that can be destructive when misunderstood, but filled with promise for the one who can tolerate its sweet pain.