Terry, Jana, baby birds and words from Sir Paul

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Our front porch is, apparently, a good place for a bird nest. We have yearly residents, and this year we have entertained a robin family, then a sparrow family.

Some folks dislike the mess, but I don’t mind. They don’t stay long, and it is a privilege to watch nature go through the process from eggs to babies to empty nest .

Well, mostly, I don’t mind.

This year one of the robins jumped/fell/was pushed out of the nest early. The space for the nest is not large, so I was surprised when the robins moved in. Three robin eggs had plenty of room. Three growing babies – not so much.

One morning Tori, the wonder dog, was barking and trying her best to push open the screen door. Fortunately she failed, as there was a baby sitting on the porch.

This was rather upsetting to me. 
Not only am I an animal lover, I am also a fixer. I want everything and everyone to be okay. I don’t want anyone to be hurt or upset.

I sprang into action: closed the front door, got the ladder and a box from the garage, tracked down the baby bird who has now hopped onto the road, found a way to scoop the baby into the box untouched by human hands.

Next, I climbed the ladder, and gently tore pieces of the box away until I could hold it in such a way that the baby would slide back into the nest.

I was SO pleased with myself!

The next morning, Tori was barking furiously at the front door.

You guessed it. Baby bird was on the porch.

I watched him as he hopped into the yard. I tried to give him a small pan of water. I tried to keep him out of sight of the dog. I fretted and watched him and searched online for what to do and watched him and looked at his mother who was watching him but not really doing anything.
And finally, I gave up. Nature needed to take its course and I needed to let it be. UGH. Not easy for me.

I saw my friend Terry Leyland last week.  Terry and her husband Hank are terrific people – upbeat, energetic, faith-filled – with whom I have been friends since high school. I told Terry that she and Hank humble with their attitude and their faith. You see, their only daughter has been battling leukemia for over two years. BATTLING. LIKE A WARRIOR. In spite of the heartache of watching one of their children go through failed bone marrow transplants and more chemotherapy than any human should have to endure, they have remained the kind, loving, happy people I have always known them to be.

I know they have hard days.  But in the face of illness that won’t back down, Terry told me they pray and trust, and beyond that, they let it be and allow it to be in God’s hands.

And in my hour of darkness, She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, Let it be

My friend Jana wakes up each morning (if she has been lucky enough to sleep) and is reminded once again that May 26 was not a terrible nightmare. On that day, God called The Rev. J. David Panther home after only 56 years. His heart, his mind, his reach were much larger than any of us will know. The First United Methodist Church and the City of Butler were blessed and changed by Pastor Dave, and he will be missed always.

But Jan misses “her sweet David.” She never begrudged how much she had to share him with the rest of us – but it doesn’t seem fair that they didn’t have a fabulous retirement, time alone.

And yet, this beautiful woman has often been the one supporting others through this time. She hands her credit card to a cashier who breaks into tears and tells Jana about how much Pastor Dave helped her family.
 On Sunday morning, I look over and see her comforting people. 
She is grace and faith personified.

I know she has hard days. But in the face of grief and sorrow, Jana says she trusts God, and she looks forward to being with David again, and she can’t do any more but let it be and pray she will heal.

And when the brokenhearted people Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be

I have walked with loved ones through serious illness and lost people I will miss forever – one very tragically and far too soon. You probably have as well.

Still, being with Terry or Hank or Jana reminds how often I am derailed by my unwillingness to let God be in charge.

I am also reminded that my problems are not often close to being so earthshaking.

How about you? Maybe I am alone in this?

I get all balled up trying to make things happen, or make things not happen, or being mad because something went differently than I thought it would. Relationships, money, work…I have fussed over all of them. 
FUSSED. FRETTED.  Been completely unwilling to let it be.

I am not suggesting that being cavalier or irresponsible is appropriate. I AM saying that having chosen to walk in as much kindness, love and respect for others as I possibly can, having chosen to love God and believe He has my best interest at hand, I must then accept that much of life is out of my control.

People make decisions that hurt me – and more often than not, if I were to drill down deep enough, I would find the hurt I feel has a little to do with the decision, and a lot to do with other stuff I am carrying.

I make decisions that hurt people. Not because I am mean and hurtful, but because it affects them in ways that have a little to do with me and a lot to do with stuff they are carrying.

We lose jobs. People we love get sick or die. We are hurt by situations. Birds fall out of nests.

We push back. We questions God. We get angry. We try to do a lot of things to fix it and none of them are right. 
We refuse to let things be, and allow God to handle them.

Terry told me people ask if she and Hank are mad at God, or if they ask why this is happening to them. Her answer is awesome.
Terry and Hank don’t ask “Why” because they know why – quite simply, this isn’t Heaven. 
We live on earth where bad things happen…but God loves us, and one day we will get to Heaven where we will be with Him and not have to endure any more heartache.

How much does that smack you in the head?

And when the night is cloudy, There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Bad things happen because this isn’t Heaven.

But God is still in charge. What choice do I really have but to let it be?

How about you?

We will talk again soon…

Beth Painter is a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!


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  1. Sometimes I just have to relook at everything.. Am I being irresponsible or apathetic by "having faith" and not jumping in to "take control" or make it happen, or voice my opinion or debate a topic? It just sneaks in and then I'm back in the clutches of the enemy of Peace. It's a difficult line to walk, focusing on remaining balanced and not falling into one pit or the other – harder for some of us than it is for others.

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