September 15, 2013 by JesstheMess

insideThis past week I found this beautiful Scarlet Macaw inside it’s cage at the local gardens.  The chain of metal making it hard to capture the beauty beyond.  The camera, focusing on the external and missing what was inside.  Ironically the end results were rather pleasing and eventually led me to this…

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

hidden inside

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

Scarlet MacawBut a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

This incredibly moving autobiographical poem by Maya Angelou, contrasts what it is to be caged (inside) with flying free.  I am privileged to have grown up knowing freedom and yet I can’t help identifying with ‘being caged’. In a world that emphasises the external… appearances… it is easy to lose focus.  The inner gets lost on our quest to uphold the external.  One can keep up appearances, put up masks, while all the while being held by bars of rage.  Our heart songs become limited by fear as we lay trapped inside unreached dreams, longing for freedom.  In other words, we pretend all is well, that we are in control, while in reality we are trapped by anger, fear and a growing sense of disillusion. We are caged in an invisible prison of self.

“I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings,” because it hopes for freedom.  For all our external entrapment we all have hope of freedom.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.         2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Scarlet MacawWhere the Lord is, His Spirit dwells and His Spirit brings life transforming freedom. Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour means receiving the gift of His Spirit. His Spirit works within me opening my eyes to all that has been done for me.

  • I am reminded of riches I have in Christ, replacing the bars of rage with the freedom of thankfulness for His abundant provision.
  • I am reminded of His perfect love that casts out fear and my soul leaps to be able to sing free of fear.
  • My dreams are no longer hope of my triumph and victory but of His, because my life and my glory are wrapped up in His.

I can fly free, not because of anything I have done or who I am, but because my Saviour loved me so much that He delights to share the riches of His glorious inheritance.  He is my delight and my freedom. Nothing can separate me from His amazing love.

IN Him I can sing.

O Lord, forgive me for my obsession with the external when I know you are concerned with the heart.  Thank you for your indwelling Spirit that brings freedom.  Remind me daily of all you have done to purchase my freedom.  Help me to sing free, resting in your work IN me.

This post is a part of the wordpress weekly photo challenge: inside.

11 thoughts on “INside

  1. Sandra says:

    Beautiful photos, thank you

  2. […] INside | illuminating the invisible […]

  3. Java Girl says:

    I was lucky to see those birds growing up as a child in the wild and then later in the zoos. They are so majestic. 🙂

  4. Lynne Ayers says:

    I found this so sad, the initial shots of the caged bird, not even visible, started knots inside me … I am grateful that your last shots freed the bird.

    • JesstheMess says:

      It is so sad. The pictures and the poem together give me insight into the sad emotions that come with being caged. Sometimes it takes strong imagery to show us these things. I am also glad that it is because of Jesus Christ that a story can move beyond the ‘caged.’ Our hearts long for freedom. Freedom for the bird, freedom for me. I am personally so thankful for the freedom I have in Christ.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop and join the pondering.

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© J.Smith Photography and 'illuminating the invisible' (2012-2014). Excerpts, images and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to J.Smith Photography and 'illuminating the invisible' with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s creator and author is strictly prohibited.

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