Welcome to Like Birds on Trees!

A self-ascribed “freelance lover of God,” I’ve created this blog to bring people together to foster community as we ponder the intersections of faith, hope, and love on this side of Heaven.

The title of my blog came from a piece I wrote in 2010. I finished a springtime run, pausing to stretch and admire the birds flying from one tree to the next, happily chirping from each different tree, singing to other kinds of birds. I smiled at the flora, purple flowers growing peacefully next to yellow flowers, sharing their nectar freely with bees. It was a time in my life where I was so frustrated by the injustice I was seeing in the world:  name-calling politicians, needless wars, and discrimination against women and people who are gay or lesbian in connotation with Christianity. I was frustrated by where our “priorities” were as a society and ached for the Church to be known for bringing about God’s love on Earth as in Heaven. Those birds I was watching— they knew the secret of how to give and receive such love. They showed me that it was time for me to move on from cynicism to action, from listening to constraining voices, to the whisper of God’s voice. So I hope to live like that, like birds on trees, happily singing to the heartbeat of faith, hope, and love.

Happy Chirping,

Melissa Otterbein

Melissa is an HIV/AIDS behavioral researcher, writer, and triathlete. Her work has been featured in Sojourners Magazine, Religion News Service, the Baltimore Sun, North Baltimore Patch, and Patheos and she welcomes your comments at melissaotterbein at gmail.com

Jesus Feminist-Look Inside


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

7 thoughts on “About

    • Thanks, Serena! What a neat opportunity to connect with other bloggers! I enjoyed reading others’ responses to questions and look forward to checking out the other questions 🙂

  1. Melissa,

    This blog about being “uprooted” really helps me understand where I am in life right now. Thank you for writing it. Married 29, family concert ministry, former fundamental pastor, yet I am seeing seeing my God and His word with new eyes as I come to terms with a life time struggle with my gender. I told my wife and kids of my life long struggle three years ago, but over these three years I have found my beliefs and needs crossing paths with my family, so I am now making plans to tell them that I will be transitioning from male to female. Add to that the internal struggle that you have described so well as I too find myself doctrinally “uprooted.” I feel more and more out of place in the fundamental world that I am in, and worry that I may never find another place of ministry as a transgender woman. I also am not looking forward to the inevitable conversations with those who will want to help me see my sin, and error of my ways. I simply feel lost,”uprooted,” and sometimes wish I could go back to where I believed what everyone else does, or maybe I could just hide what I believe and not change anything, but neither option is open to me.


Leave a Reply to karenzai Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s