Flightless Bird, Thrashing Deer

Of course, Gabby, of course.

Taking a cue from Gabby’s Facebook page last week.

“Flightless Bird, Thrashing Deer”

This is the name of my children’s book.

It’s a story about two wounded characters who manifest their pain and hurt in very different ways.

The “flightless bird” character is a small wounded bird with a broken wing and cannot take to the air. In her desire to be rescued, she sings out beautifully with perfect pitch and preens her one good wing so as to be noticed by passers by. Her eyes convey weakness, her feathers softness and frailty.

She is both beautiful and enchanting, but wounded nonetheless.

The second character is the “thrashing deer.” Wild, powerful and strong, the wild deer is also wounded. She has been hit by a car. After crashing violently against the metal and steel, she loses her footing and falls into a heavy heap on the hot asphalt. But she does not stay there long. With the will of an animal three times her size, she pops up from her grounded position, finds her feet and thrashes wild and determined into the wilderness.

She too is wounded, but her eyes are cold and she is too strong for passersby to lend a helping hand.

Think kids will like it? I’m still working out the kinks and illustrations could be an issue, but…


This isn’t a children’s book. This is the story of a woman you know. A mother, a daughter, a wife, a co-worker, a friend. It’s the story of us. The story of our wounded-ness and why we need grace.

But the whole thing has to start with honesty. We have to admit that we are wounded. In some way, shape or form all of us have pain, we are all hurting. Not all of it is accessible at a moments notice, but if we just take a moment to reflect, think back or think forward each and every one of us knows our pain with the familiarity of own reflection – even when that reflection is unrecognizable.

I was in a thinking mood this weekend.

I was thinking about the women I know and the ways we all try to hide in our pain and hurt. I mean, I won’t try to pretend that I don’t do it if you won’t. If we don’t get honest, then we don’t grow and if we don’t grow then we cannot understand the concept of grace. If you want grace you are going to have to get honest. So that’s that.

Anyway, I was thinking about these women and I was thinking of the flightless birds and thrashing deer mommies and ladies all about town. In the check out lines at Target, ordering 2,000 calorie drinks at Starbucks perusing pictures on Instagram and updates on Facebook and Twitter (I just described myself, so no judgment ladies. None whatsoever). We are walking around with out wounds just under the surface. They are covered up with Little Mermaid and Mickey Mouse bandaids, but they are still there. Healing.

The flightless bird licks her wounds, bats her eyes and smiles coyly at the handsome gentleman in line behind her. She needs to be rescued. She drinks a little too much, flirts a little too dangerously and needs a little too much. She needs to be rescued. From the pain in her life. The burden of pain she is shouldering because she cannot fly. Her wings, although strong and beautiful, have kept her grounded for longer than she can remember. She longs to be airborne, but lacks the confidence to flap her wings. Flapping them hurts, it is painful. But flapping them is the only thing that will strengthen the muscles she needs to take flight.

The burden of the hard earth beneath her is overwhelming and yet the pain of flight is too much to bear. She searches for a rescuer. Someone to help her fly. Someone to pick her up and just get her to the nest. She doesn’t try to fly because she is afraid to fall.

She is afraid of grace. She knows not of it.

Bella needed Edward to rescue her from the burden of the ground beneath. "Have I found you, flightless bird" - Iron & Wine

Bella needed Edward to rescue her from the burden of the ground beneath. “Have I found you, flightless bird” – Iron & Wine

We keep walking through our lives loving our husbands, our children and leaving the last dried up bit of love for ourselves. The bit that is left at the end of the night just for us. We save that for the last moments of our day. It should be so sweet. But it’s not. Not quite.

The thrashing deer is a force. Everyone knows of her powerful kick and even after she has been taken down and hurt, she will not bend for anyone. Guarded and independent, thrashing deer does not need any help. She picks herself up everyday and handles everything. Getting people where they need to be and taking care of her personal business in the process. She thrashes and flails keeping everyone at arms distance. Her pain isn’t that bad. After all, she can still run.  

But, she needs a rescuer too. The burden of thrashing and running is overwhelming, but sitting quietly in her pain is too much. She bucks and threatens anyone who comes close with swift keratin kick to the pants.

She is afraid of grace. She knows not of it.

Girls, ladies, mommies, friends, sisters we all deserve grace. If we ground ourselves because we are afraid of flight it’s because we don’t accept grace. If we thrash and buck because we are afraid of the still, quiet pain then we don’t accept grace. It’s crazy because grace is free and we still think we have to earn it or pay for it or do something amazing, supermom worthy to get it. We don’t.

It’s ridiculously and amazingly free.

Grace frees us from thrashing. Grace gives us wings to soar. Grace gives me the freedom to just be who I was created to be – wounds and all.


Categories: All The Rest

2 replies

  1. Good story. Good points. No pain, no gain. Pain opens the door to Grace.


  1. Grading Grace « MOMMY happens

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