Spiritual Care & Development

Spiritual Development Reflection:

For several weeks, a robin family occupied a nest in the bush outside my office window at the church. They came and went, preparing their nest hidden away in the branches. One day, finally, I heard a great commotion, and sure enough I saw a baby robin in the nest. Its mother had just landed on the edge of the nest, carrying something for it to eat. The baby bird waited expectantly, its bright yellow beak gaping up toward its mother.

Baby robins are not pretty. They have scrawny necks, knobby heads, and strange gray skin with very few feathers. Yet the little bird seemed to care not one whit about its ugliness. As I watched this little robin family, I noticed the persistence of the baby bird in petitioning its mother for something good to eat. This little creature radiated need, and dependence. If that baby bird didn’t keep its beak open, it would surely die.

There is something about this kind of vulnerability that is difficult for me to accept. I don’t want to be like that baby robin. I don’t want to admit my need, my hurts, my desire for God. My vulnerabilities seem ugly, fragile, unwanted. It is hard to ask, to be open and waiting. Sometimes I have felt like that baby bird, mouth wide open to the sky with nothing coming in. When I feel this way, it’s hard to see beyond the sides of my own nest, what is known to me already.

It makes me think of the story in the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus says, “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

God, our Mother Robin, is already out at work preparing those things I need to nourish growth. My role in all of this is to learn to wait, with my beak open, ready to receive, trusting that God is preparing good things.

Gracious God,

Like a Mother Bird,

You cover us with your wings,

and bring us all that we need for our nourishment.

May we be so persistent in our asking,

patient in our waiting,

and confident in your love,

that we are invited to see beyond the safety of our nest

and soar unafraid into the future.



Redeeming Food & Body Event:

Pastor Kate is part of the teaching team for an upcoming event called Redeeming Food & Body, held on Nov. 3 at Faith Church in Manitowoc, WI. She is excited to bring this event to Wisconsin after having developed and led the program with her colleagues in Seattle for several years!

Redeeming Food & Body is an event created to respond to a confusing and painful culture. This culture demands that we conform to impossible body standards by following a maze of conflicting rules about the food we eat. The result is a war against our bodies.

By addressing the overlapping perspectives of nutrition, therapy, and theology, we create a learning environment steeped in kindness and determined to pursue genuine, sustainable health and wholeness. Participants will enter their own stories around food and body through teaching, discussion, & a wonderful shared meal.  If you would like more information, or to register, please visit the website: www.redeemingfoodandbody.com.


Sue Koch