“Crystal, you have to come look!” My sister sounded excited and tugged on my hand, urging me to hurry.
“What?” I was unconvinced—I had other things to do.
“You have to come see this! There’s a bird in Mommy and Daddy’s room!” I decided to come take a look. My little sister insisted that the “very pretty” bird was stuck.
She was beautiful—I could accurately describe the bird as a ‘dark beauty.” She was tiny—only slightly bigger than a hummingbird; but her true beauty was in her feathers. Black as midnight, the flames of orange strongly stood out on her wings. For a while I just stood and watched the little bird that I already had named Night Star.
Night Star was fluttering and flopping along the window, in vain trying to somehow break through to the inviting outside world she used to know. I could almost feel Night Star’s fear as she struggled. Seeing her so terrified, compassion for the helpless creature rose up in my heart.
“I know you fear me, but I can free you.” As I consoled Night Star with those words, I knew that this was an experience I would later write about. I knew that as I was telling this bird not to fear, so was my God telling my not to fear.
I closed in on Night Star with my hands. My touch terrified her—and as I slowly closed my hand, she jumped out in a flash. “Come on, Night Star,” I thought to the poor bird. “I know you don’t trust me. I must seem like a monster to you. But I’m just going to take you outside where you’ll be free to fly! I won’t hurt you, I promise.”
Softly, I reached forth my hands again, closing in the cornered bird from the top and from the side. Gently I closed my hands and scooped it up. I was surprised how peaceful Night Star was—she made no struggle and no sound. Oh, her eyes were darting back and forth and I’m sure her thoughts were going wild. But she was still and trustful. I could feel the smooth, luxuriously black feathers in my closed hands. I was holding a wild beauty that I was about to grant its freedom.
I walked out the door and held Night Star close as I stood on the veranda looking out toward the mango tree where Night Star lives. I took a deep breathe, and opened my hands slowly.
For an entire second, Night Star hesitated in my hands. Then, with a light flutter of orange-feathered wings, she flitted up into the mango tree. Night Star was free.
That is the exact story of what happened, and the experience really did touch me. I distinctly remember the pause, and the sudden light feeling when Night Star burst into flight out of my open hand. I felt touched by it because I knew in my heart that God was taking me through an insignificant experience that meant something significant to me.
I am just like Night Star. I feel trapped and panicked in a situation that I cannot get out of my myself. Then things start happening and I’m terrified—terrified that nothing will ever be the same; terrified of losing what I still have; terrified of the change, and completely unsure of the future.
But God’s hand persistently reaches out to me to offer freedom. Afraid, I flee His touch. But finally, with no further place to hide, I allow His hands to close me up, to capture me, to hold me.
I am shocked at His gentleness! I feel like maybe someday it will all be okay again. Maybe there’s hope for my future after all. I can’t figure out what’s happening, but whatever is happening I cannot stop, so I won’t even try. I’ll just have to have faith that these hands holding me now so securely will know what is best for me. I don’t know whether I’ll be in an even greater trap for the rest of my life, or if I’ll suddenly be free, but right now I’m okay. In these hands I’m finally not in pain. Oh, I fear, but I’m not in pain.
And then the hands open. I see a world of freedom before me. I see the future—I see life before me. Only for a moment do I pause as I realize that my Blessed Captor is offering me my freedom. Triumphantly, I open my wings and take off. I’M FREE!
God is teaching me that even though I don’t know what is happening and everything feels scary and dark, He is capturing me only to bring into a new life, a more abundant life. A life in His will, a life where He knows what my future will hold.
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