“I won’t Hurt You.”

I wrote about this many years ago. And then the situation happened again, yesterday; as it has quite a few times over the years. Whenever it repeats I’m strangely touched by what transpires. It’s nothing complicated or extraordinary, but as is often the case, in simplicity one sometimes can catch a glimpse of truths easily lost sight of, perhaps even forgotten, or never fully known.

I have quite a large workshop which I bustle in and out of most days. Invariably there are times when I forget to close the door behind me. Perhaps, subliminally, I know I’ll be back soon. The reason to close the door is not for security, or to keep the cold out, it’s to stop the occasional bird flying in. For some reason chickadees, humming birds, robins, and other varieties can’t resist exploring what’s behind the open door. I’ve rescued all of them over the years.

Yesterday it happened again. I went into the workshop and heard the flutter of wings. A startled bird flew softly against the closed window and then circled the workshop before alighting on a shelf. I opened the other door and the one window and approached the bird wherever it landed as it frantically sought an escape. My desire was to show it the way and coax it to an exit. Instead it seemed overwhelmed with panic, fear, and no doubt confusion. I always talk to the trapped birds. “Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you…. come on go that way.” The bird flew around and around, he even landed on my tuque twice, but when I took one step toward the door he flew off again. The flights became shorter as he grew tired until eventually he tumbled down in a corner, panting and defeated.

My gloved hand quietly reached down and took hold of him, careful not to bruise his delicate wings. I picked him up and cradled him close to my chest as I walked outside. “There you go, no need to be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you, soon you’ll be free again.” Standing in the light drizzle under the cherry tree I opened my hand. The bird stood there, beak open, heart pounding through his soft feathered chest, not making a move. He was a beautiful brown, tinges of golden green mixed in, flecked with black. I stroked his head a few times as the nictitating membrane of his eye appeared and disappeared like a slow windscreen wiper. “Take as long you like, little bird, I’m feeling like Jesus.” I smiled and waited with him in the rain.

After a few minutes I took a step and he flew down to the ground at the foot of the cherry tree and was nearly lost in the golden brown and yellow leaves. Other chickadees bounced around him feeding. Ignoring them he stood among the fallen leaves looking straight ahead. Eventually, after another five minutes he suddenly spread his wings and bobbed in flight across the garden to live his life.

The scene always reminds me of Jesus. I’m the bird. I get into situations, quite unwittingly, and often unintended, and then I’m flying in circles. Not sure where to go, what to do, how to move on or escape. I don’t believe or see God in my distraction, and yes, my fear and confusion. I become really frantic rescuing myself and growing weary and discouraged in the trying.

And then I’m Jesus. I know the thoughts and feelings I have when I enter the workshop and discover a panicked bird in flight. I think of Jesus whispering to so many, “Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you.” Of the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you.” Jesus looking over Jerusalem, “How I longed to gather you like a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not.” Of Jesus embracing a distraught Mary and Martha at the death of their brother Lazarus – and he wept. Of Jesus’ tortured body on the Cross, spat on, flogged, bleeding, speared by blind and angry men and women, “Father forgive them, they have no idea…” Of his words to the crowds who gathered, “I have not come to condemn you but to save…. don’t be afraid, I’m not going to hurt you. I love you as my Father does. If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more? Not one sparrow falls to the ground without being noticed.”

The one thing that I never ever do. It doesn’t occur to me. I never berate the bird, speak angry words because it flew into the workshop. I never want to punish it because it got trapped in the skylight and crapped all over the wall. My sole focus is to draw close, rescue, and release. The joy that comes with watching the bird fly free is priceless.

I can so easily loose sight of God’s tender heart and his truly being for me not against me – at times. Particularly when I’ve been flying in circles for a while trailing wisps of cobwebs from my feet and feeling lost and alone. My frantic flapping slows down as I hear him whisper, “Don’t be afraid, I’m here to help not to harm. Even if you’ve made a mess let me cradle you in my hand and draw you back, close to my heart.”

Perhaps some of us need to be reminded of this simple truth in these troubled days. That sometimes doors are closed in love to protect us from ourselves, while others are opened wide to lead us into greater freedom. I think there are so many who need to experience someone reaching out without condemnation, being a friend, being the only version of Jesus they may ever encounter in human form. Someone opening doors and windows, patiently offering a hand to hold, or just to stand alongside in the rain for a while.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

God So Loved

We the Kingdom

Come all you weary
Come all you thirsty
Come to the well
That never runs dry
Drink of the water
Come and thirst no more

Well, come all you sinners
Come find His mercy
Come to the table
He will satisfy
Taste of His goodness
Find what you’re looking for

For God so loved
The world that He gave us
His one and only
Son to save us
Whoever believes in Him
Will live forever

Bring all your failures
Bring your addictions
Come lay them down
At the foot of the cross
Jesus is waiting there
With open arms
Can you see His open arms?
Here we go

For God so loved
The world that He gave us
His one and only
Son to save us
Whoever believes in Him
Will live forever

The power of hell
Forever defeated
Now it is well
I’m walking in freedom
For God so loved
God so loved the world

Praise God
Praise God
From whom all blessings flow
Praise Him
Praise Him
For the wonders of His love (praise God)Praise God
Praise God
From whom all blessings flow
Praise Him
Praise Him
For the wonders of His love
His amazing love

For God so loved
The world that He gave us
His one and only
Son to save

For God so loved
The world that He gave us
His one and only
Son to save us
Whoever believes in Him
Will live forever

Oh, the power of hell
Forever defeated
Now it is well
I’m walking in freedom
For God so loved
God so love the world

Bring all your failures
Bring your addictions
Come lay them down
At the foot of the cross
Jesus is waiting
God so loved the world

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Andrew Bergthold / Franni Cash / Scott Mctyeire Cash / Edward Martin Cash / Edmond Martin Jr Cash

God So Loved lyrics © Capitol Cmg Paragon, Capitol Cmg Genesis, We The Kingdom Music

SOS

We the Kingdom

I’ve been blinded by
Insecurity
All the pain I feel
Could be the death of me

I’m surrounded by
Fear that won’t let go
If there’s a way out
Someone let me know

I’m reaching out, one last plea
Is hope all gone? Somebody save me
SOS, I’m lost at sea
Is hope all gone? Somebody save me

I’ve seen traces of
Joy that never ends
But it seems so far away
If it’s even real, oh

There must be more than this (come on it)
Change me if it’s true
If you are for real
Help me follow you

I’m reaching out, one last plea
Is hope all gone? Somebody save me
SOS, I’m lost at sea
Is hope all gone? Somebody save me, oh

Why do I do the things I don’t wanna do
I don’t wanna do
When all they do is hurt me?
Why do I do the things I don’t wanna do
I don’t wanna do
When all they do is hurt me?

Why do I do the things I don’t wanna do
I don’t wanna do
When all they do is hurt me?
Why do I do the things I don’t wanna do
I don’t wanna do
Oh, when all they do is hurt me?

I’m reaching out, one last plea
Is hope all gone? Somebody save me
I’m reaching out, one last plea
Is hope all gone? Somebody please save me
SOS, I’m lost at sea
Is hope all gone? Somebody save me
Oh, save me

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Edmond Martin Cash

SOS lyrics © Alletrop Music

John Cox

Christian Author and Counsellor

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