Yesterday I was out early, near the edge of the woods. A small fluttering chirp arrested my attention, directing it from a tree and towards the ground. In a small, open-faced woodshed there was a bird – a cardinal, half-grown – thrashing at the walls, jumping against them, chirping and flailing uselessly. It was too young to fly but had left the nest under unknown circumstances.
I watched it for a minute, hoping that perhaps it would turn around and walk out of the opening which was as wide as the wall it was facing. An attempt was made to chase it out. It retreated valiantly into a corner, hiding against the wood.
So I caught it. . . after the fourth attempt. A shrill scream burst from the shiny black beak, little legs and claws kicked, wings fluttered; then it bit me. Unknown to this frightened creature, it was fighting the person who was freeing it, biting and clawing to be let go and be lost again in the dark and open prison.
Despite it’s feeble (though somewhat painful) protesting, I carried it to the bird feeder and – the plan was to let it go near a food source. It jumped down prematurely however, scuttled beneath the porch and that was the last I saw of it.
A bit of frustration followed. After the (small) effort and time taken to bring the cardinal out of its self-imposed cage to the open air and food, it had hidden itself in a darker place and likely got lost, unable to be brought out.
Now this all is what we do to God all the time, isn’t it? Our angels spend the time we are given in doing what they can to let us out from the giant prisons of vice which are, admittedly, easy to get in to but difficult to turn about in.
Once blinded, a person remains blind until Christ touches the eyes of the soul, if we let Him touch us. We must be captured, lifted, carried, shown the sun and sky, brought to food and safety. If one acts with Humility, to permit God to raise him, feed him, show him the light and the way, that person will survive to fledge and fly with plumage, coloured with the Blood of Christ.
And now, dear Reader, which of you has not struck and fought against your Saviour?
Which of us has not thought or felt, at one time or another – even briefly – that the yoke of freedom is more heavy than the chain, that the sight of sun is more stabbing than darkness, that our crippled wings of reason could challenge Faith and our bodies the Hand of God?