Before my memory begins there was a little girl. Someone saw her. They did not delight in her pain. One day they saw her discover an injured bird. A bird with a broken wing. But the little girl, so sympathetic, did not seek help for the creature. Nor did she plead for its life. Instead with great delight, she stomped on her powerless victim until it died. She took pleasure in its pain. How pathetic.
I have been thinking a lot this week about joy and pain. About idols who stole my joy. They always had such a hold over me. They controlled me. In my utter foolishness, I thought I controlled them.
Back in the day, power was my greatest god. I did not just lust for it. I thought I had it. Success, bonuses, pay raises. I thought they had a lot to do with me. I thought my resume gave me my value. It held a lot of power over me. Oh, what I would do to improve my god. If it looked good on my god, clearly it was the right decision. Everything in my life was about my god. That is why it was my god.
One day someone, I do not remember who, gave me an analogy. Sometimes, they said, things in life are like a baby bird. When you hold them in your hands, you must not clench your fists. If you do, you will kill them. You must open your fists and allow the birds the opportunity to fly away. If you do not, they will die. Some things in life go away if we hold them too tightly.
For years of my life, I was sure if I opened my fists, God would take away the baby birds tightly tucked inside. They struggled to breathe. They longed to live. When I opened my fists, they had died. Idols die. One hundred percent of the time.
In my human weakness, I sometimes wonder if they might have lived if I had opened my fists sooner. As perhaps an alcoholic wonders if they could still drink if they had not drank so long. Or a lost lover ponders whether changing sooner may have saved vanishing love.
I have been learning to live with my hands wide open, letting God decide what I have and what He takes away. In the eyes of many around me, I live like a lunatic. Devoid of thought for the future.
When I was in school last year, they told me I was not a leader. Christ, they said, will always be Head of the church. Just point people to Him. Teach them how to hear from Him not you.
I wonder if a megaphone would be loud enough to tell people to never look at me. I wonder if my hands will stay open long enough to not kill anymore birds. To not squeeze to death what the good Lord gives me. To not drain life with my control.
I wonder what it would be like to trust God with tomorrow. With my bills, friends, future lover. To trust Him for all my security. Jesus says He cares for all the birds of the air. Even the ones little girls kill.
What are you holding so tight you are squeezing it to death?