Debbie Blue is one of the founding pastors of House of Mercy, a church in St. Paul, Minnesota, once named as one of the first and most enduring "emergent" congregations. Her essays, sermons, blogs, and reflections on the Scriptures have appeared in a wide variety of publications.
Blue has a special place in her heart for birds and when she opens the Bible, they flutter about here and there — hovering over the face of the deep, bringing bread to the prophets, serving as winged messengers, being used as a reference in the sermon on the Mount, and signifying hope, strength and playfulness. In the introduction, she makes the following connection:
"I'm convinced that there is something about the sort of consciousness necessary for birding that is very much like the practice of faith. It comes and it goes. It requires waiting. You must use both your body and mind. Attention is paramount."
These ten essays by Blue perk us up with their creative spunk and sparks of illumination. She begins with a look at the Pigeon (the dove at the baptism of Jesus) and moves on to the Pelican (which stands for the sacrificial love of Christ and in the medieval bestiary is a symbol of Christian charity); the Quail (a sign of God's extravagant care); the Eagle (Blue suggests we embrace this bird as our symbol of a commitment to hope); the Ostrich (may well be the playful companion we all need); and the Sparrow (Jesus reminds us that not one of these little creatures is forgotten by God). The other birds covered in this paperback are the Cock, the Hen, and the Raven.