How To Find Your Song After  a Vacuum Cleaner Slurps You

Some days your best bet is to snuggle back under the covers, and never put your delicate little foot on the floor. It’s safer there.

Consider the poignant story of Chippie the parakeet as a warning for people who risk getting out of bed.

Chippie’s owner got the brilliant idea to clean his cage with a vacuum cleaner. She took off the attachment at the end of the hose and attacked the nastiness in the bottom of the cage.

Just then the phone rang and as the preoccupied lady turned to answer it, Chippie fell into the line of fire of the sucking air current.


The horrified bird owner stopped the vacuum cleaner and to her relief discovered Chippy, like a feathered Jonah, shaken but alive in the interior of the machine. The poor creature was covered with dirt so his mistress grabbed him and plunged him under the faucet of the sink into a stream of cold water.

Then when she realized how cold the poor bird was, she set upon him with her hair dryer! Poor old Chippie.

Someone asked her a few days later, how her parakeet fared after his traumatic adventure. “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore,” she reported. He just sits and stares.” (Story told by Max Lucado in his book, “In the Eye of the Storm).

I understand. Been there, done that.

Have You Ever Been Sucked Into A Vacuum Cleaner?

Has life ever sucked you into its vacuum hose? Then doused you with cold water and blasted you with its heat waves? Most of us can answer with an emphatic, “Yes!” because in one degree or another we all experience the hard slam of life’s skillet in our face at times.

Afterwards, we don’t sing much. We sit there and stare into space.

Divorce, sickness, verbal backstabs from people we love, loss of job, depression, loss of confidence in ourselves, failed dreams, fatigue, finances in the gutter. Have I forgotten yours?


So there we sit, staring at the wall. Or we get MAD! Or we resign ourselves to the worst. Or we lash out at those around us. Or we make some famously bad, stupid decision in reaction to what happened. Or we tumble into depression. Or …

Most likely we react in several of these ways in different stages.

That is understandable. But, there is one thing we can’t do if we want to fully experience this life more abundant that Jesus promises: we can’t just sit there, song-less, and stare out the window, constantly longing after what we lost.

So Chippy, here’s what you do.

If you can’t sing, start humming (do birds hum? I guess hummingbirds do). If you warm up your vocal cords, eventually your hum will grow into a song, and your song can increase into an aria worthy of Enrico Caruso.

Chippy, tear your eyes away from your loss and your hurt. Grab your voice and wrestle it into positive words, praise to God words—yeah, even when you don’t understand. Begin to speak faith, even when you don’t feel faith.

There are a thousand things I don’t understand in life and I can’t make them fit into a consistent way of looking at things. One thing I do know, though, is God in His Son Jesus.

I know He loves me. I don’t know why some things happen but I know God and He’s going to make even the bad into good.

And if I don’t see it in my 66-100 years here on this earth? Well, that’s just the beginning. I’ve got all eternity and He’s promised me this: “I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.

“I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.

“I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‘Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.’ The Enthroned continued, ‘Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.’

“Then he said, ‘It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me.’” (Rev. 21:1-7, The Message)

You know Chippy, I could give you a lot of good advice. But you’ve got to shake yourself. By a sheer act of your will tear your eyes away from your pain and look to the Lord. Cry out to Him. You can even tell Him you don’t understand, but look to Him.

He will help you to healing. He promises that He’s near the brokenhearted. You’ll never see Him, though, if your eyes cloud over constantly with visions of your loss.

Come on now, sing with me:

“Tweet, tweet—Lord, I don’t understand.

“Tweet, tweet—Lord, I hurt.

“Tweet, squawk (oops, sorry about that Lord), tweet—but I trust You.

“Tweet, tweet—I trust You and someway I’m coming out of this funk. I trust You. I love You. Thank You, Lord.”

Sing it Chippy! Sing it.


Hmmm …

“The greatest declaration of praise is to simply, truly say to God, ‘I trust You.’ Praise is trust expressed.  Matthew Henry said something like this, “God honors faith, real faith, more than anything else, because faith, real faith, honors God more than anything else.” 

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