“Oh no. I just caught a bird.”
The trap had been set to catch a pesky squirrel chewing his way into the finch socks. All other bird feeders are squirrel protected. I feed the squirrels, too, but they do prefer bird-food, and pursue it fiercely.
But now I have captured a bird, one of my favorite non human beings. I feared the loud squawking and thrashing of wings could cause an untimely death… right before my eyes. This bird wanted his freedom.
Picking up the trap carefully, I set it in the shade. The minute I picked it up and began speaking softly, there was silence. Tom was gone, and I could not open the wire cage. The response of this captured bird surprised me. Immediately, he … or she? stopped all frantic movement. I sat down beside the trap on the grass … you will now think I am crazy! After telling the bird not to be afraid… that Tom would soon be back, and he could be free, he watched my every movement.
I began singing, “Jesus loves you… Little birds to you belong,” etc. making it personal to this scared fowl. I quoted verse 11 of Psalm 50…”I know every bird in the mountain, and the creatures of the field are mine.” I paraphrased Matthew 10:29 into bird language, “Not one bird will fall to the ground that the Father doesn’t know about.”
The captured bird never flinched one time; he never fluttered those wings. His small eyes just watched… and he listened. I smiled as this created gift watched me keenly. For twenty minutes I rattled off verses of the Lord’s watch care. I reminded him that the Creator who knows every star by name, surely knew his. Psalm 147:4.
“You will be free soon.” And he was. Tom arrived, opened the cage, and off he flew, landing on a nearby branch first… looking at me as if to say, “Now, listen to the same promises.”
I heard a whisper. “Listen to your own words… affirmations of faith and belief. I am speaking these same promises, these same truths to you.” I sat still, sensing the Lord’s gentle hand pushing the hair off my face. I realized how trapped I was… in fear. Worry and concern over our son-in-law, Fred, remaining in critical condition in the hospital with Covid has paralyzed me. I spend more time languishing in fear than listening to God’s promises.
John 5 is a timely read this week. The paralyzed man was trapped… for thirty-eight years he has been confined. An ABC study* reveals many trappings… Alone-ness, Blame and Bitterness, Contentment in his trappings… perhaps. Dependency on others and Defensive… trapped in Uselessness and Worry… trapped.
We are, most likely, all trapped in one kind of cage … or another.
I wonder that we are trapped in a Fear Pandemic— politically, physically, emotionally, racially, socially, even spiritually. I can only respond to my personal fears. Life lived within a trap is deadly.
Then we hear Jesus’ beautiful words, “Do you want to get well? Do you want to be free? Do you want to walk? Do you want to be clean? I am here. I am your answer to all the traps set for you. For the traps you have walked into.”
It seems much too simple. The trapped bird did nothing to earn his freedom… but listen. The quick release of the lock set him free.
“And if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” John 8:36
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him will be set free (my words here) John 3:16
As I have finished this and read and reread my thoughts, I am burdened that this is written on another level. I had no idea the many implications for these days. See if you can discover another thought for the same blog post titled… trapped.
*(My ABC guide entitled Whispers on the Journey will be available on Amazon by end of this month.)