Saturday, January 14, 2006

Clearly there is a problem

As you may have gathered from previous posts, I love animals. I have locked up the brakes to miss a sparrow, rescued baby raccoons from a dumpster, and held up traffic until I could carry a turtle out of danger. The following is what I learned after helping a bird. I wanted to post it so I can more often remember what I gained as a result of the experience.

The summer after graduating from high school I got a job as a helper installing siding on houses. We did one house that was new construction and quite a ways out into the country. The house was L-shaped and had a walkout basement. The basement sliding-glass door had not been installed yet, but a large window had been installed (see diagram below). I had to go down to the basement to grab some materials and when I did, I heard a strange noise over by the window. Upon investigating I noticed a bird had flown in to explore and was fluttering up and down the window trying to get back outside. It was frazzled and desperate. I immediately wanted to help, so I slowly walked over and cupped my hands like you would if you were trying to hold water. I allowed my hands to follow it until finally the bird touched my hands. That made it freak out all the more and it chirped alarmingly. I said, "It's okay, I'm helping you." Maybe it was the tone of my voice that helped, but several seconds later it fluttered down into my hands and this time it relaxed. It just sat there, quietly, as if it knew. Maybe it was the warmth of my hands or the fact that the shape of my hands resembled a nest...a place of security, comfort, and trust. I was amazed that this non-domesticated animal was not trying to bite me. I slowly backed away from the window and watched as the bird looked up at me, then the window, me, then the window. It must have puzzled the bird that it was seemingly being taken away from where it wanted to go. I walked through the space where the sliding-glass door would go and went outside. I looked at it, smiled, and said, "You're free" as I threw my hands upward and let it fly. It sang a happy song and circled wildly above me as if the jubilation was almost too much to handle. Then it perched on a stack of bricks, looked back at me and sang some more, and flew to a nearby thicket.

As I walked back inside tears welled up in my eyes. I felt God speak to me inside and explain that what just happened was what He sees and feels when trying to rescue us. Because of our sin nature we end up trapping ourselves. We can clearly see where we need to go, but all our might and power simply cannot get us there. We get frazzled and desperate. Why can't we get there? Where is the way? When God intervenes it is not always easy. There is a trust that is required. In fact, at times we feel we are going backwards. It doesn't make sense. However, if we rest in His hands, He will lead us and guide us.

Maybe it's a sin pattern, maybe addiction, maybe a pane of glass that people near you built over time with their words. Maybe it's the tendency to try to take the controls of your own life and live independent from your Creator. Maybe it's the allure of the things of this world. Whatever has you trapped, just accept the fact you can't get out on your own. We weren't made to. If we could perform to the extent needed to free ourselves, then Christ died in vain. It is only through the nurturing love of God, the blood of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit that we can truly be set free. Rest in His hands. He knows what He is doing.


At 1/14/2006, Blogger Andrew G said...

wow... what an incredible story. God often does that with me, takes me away from what I think is the way to freedom/destiny, and leads me to the true way.
WOW...could be one of your best posts!

At 1/14/2006, Blogger Kitty said...

Fantastic post Matthew! I totally agree that we can't get out on our own in our trip. We are set free by Him, and Him alone! Hallelujah!

At 1/14/2006, Blogger Kitty said...

Sorry I meant to say "Mark", not Matthew...please forgive me for getting your name wrong :s

At 1/15/2006, Blogger Fred said...

Nice post. Much to think about...

At 1/15/2006, Blogger CJ said...

beautiful parallel! thanks for sharing it with us. and thanks for your kind email to me the other day. i know what you said about having kids is right and i believe that if God wants me to, I will. it's just the "getting there" that's hard.

At 1/16/2006, Blogger Mark D said...

Thanks Andrew, Fred, and CJ!

Kitty, of course I forgive you! :) The mistake just proves you've got God's Word on your mind since Matthew and Mark are next to each other.

At 1/16/2006, Blogger Stephanie said...

Beautiful parallel!

Thanks for sharing that story!

Your Friend and God's fly girl,

~Stephanie ;)

At 1/16/2006, Blogger Mandy said...

I know I'm tired of beating my head against the window pane!
Time to let Him carry me in the palms of His hands into the place He has for me!

Thanks for sharing!


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