A month ago, I was sitting up in the balcony at The Muse in Wyndhurst. I had just gotten out my paper and pen to start what would be a painful journey: taking Moral Inventory of my life. Things that I did. Things that were done against me. All of it. Written down.
To say that I was nervous and scared and not looking forward to it would be an understatement.
I started writing and was soon distracted by the overwhelming feeling that I wanted to be far away from where I was and what I was doing. Remember Forest Gump, when Jenny prays "God, make me a bird so I can fly far, far away from here?" That's what I wanted.
Then I saw something moving next to me and heard a noise. I wasn't sure what it was, but suppressed a scream as I convinced myself that whatever it was was going to surely kill me. Then it moved again. And chirped. And ran into the window.
A tiny, brown bird.
At any rate, the poor little guy was trying to escape through the window. Logic told me that it was impossible, that the little bird would never be able to fly out of the window. But, Little Bird didn't know it was a window. He could see through it. He could see trees and a street and the sky. But couldn't get through. He didn't know he was trapped. He thought he was free, but couldn't get to the actual freedom part. And couldn't figure out why.
As I sat and pondered Little Bird and his dilemma, I heard that Still Small Voice tell me, "Go help him."
"Go help him."
"Birds are gross. I don't want to touch him. And I wouldn't know how to help him anyways. I tried to help many an injured animal when I was a child and they all died. Do you really want me to kill this creature?"
"Go help him."
"Go help him."
I realized that I wasn't going crazy. I pray and talk to God and have had God talk to me. It was possible that God, in this moment, wanted me to help this bird...... wasn't it?
I decided to go ahead and try to help the bird. I mean what's the worst that could happen? Then my mind thought of all the worst-case scenarios, which included screaming really loud if it flapped its wings in my face and embarrassing myself and getting startled and falling over the rail of the balcony. Both were not ideal. So, I decided my plan needed to involve a "fall and scream prevention plan."
I got up.
I moved closer and closer. Slowly. So slowly that I felt like it was taking hours for me to get over to Little Bird.
When I finally got to the window he was flying through, I realized that I needed to be careful not to startle him, or he would fly up into the rafters and I would never be able to help him.
I raised my arms and inched closer and closer. Very slowly.
As I got closer, I closed my hands around him. His Little Bird Legs found my hand a few times and he chirped in a panic and tried to escape. But it was too late. I had made a cage out of my arms and my hands followed his movement. Closing in more and more.
When I finally got one hand on his body and trapped on wing, he had a full-fledged Little Bird Panic Attack. Although I was talking to him, he didn't know that I was trying to help him and was instead trying to protect himself from me.
I used my second hand to fold his free wing up close to his body. And I just held him for a second.
I turned his body so I could look him in the eye.
And that when it happened. I felt his entire body relax as he surrendered to me.
I was powerful enough that I literally could have crushed him in my hands. And he knew that. But, I was there to help him be set free. So, I just stroked his head for a moment and said, "Okay, Little Bird, let's go get freedom."
I walked carefully down the stairs and noticed for the first time that the entire cafe was silent. They were all watching me and Little Bird.
I shook off my embarrassment and made it to the door. I released my grip on Little Bird and he paused for a second before flying out of my hands. I haven't seen a bird happier to be free.
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I made it back up to my seat and sat down, processing what just happened and why on earth God cared so much about a bird that He told me to help it. Then I realized that I was the bird.
How many times have I thought I was free, but couldn't understand why I wasn't experiencing freedom?
How many times have I fought God, as if He hunting me down to destroy me?
How many times have I struggled against His grip before I ultimately surrendered to Him?
Freedom for the bird was something it never would have experienced on its own. It would have had to fly down in the middle of the cafe, towards people and go out a door on the complete opposite side of the building. Because of Little Bird's instinct to flee people, it never would have been able to be set free on its own. It needed help. It needed to surrender to my hand so I could free it.
I picked up my pen again a changed woman, willing to let God walk me through these extremely painful parts of my life for the sake of freedom.