Many of us travel a road we would never have chosen for our lives. It was chosen for us and without our permission. Even so, it doesn’t have to be a lonely road. I have been on it longer than most of you and I have found kindred hearts traveling with me. We understand pain and sorrow. But we also have sweet memories of our family before we suffered a loss or losses. We are able to share those memories openly and without judgement. We are also free to rage and rant at the injustice of it all.
But what if we consider our loss a prison sentence. Life behind bars without parole. Even there, just like the journey, we are not alone. We are surrounded by others who also have sad stories to share. And like the bird who is not free, he still can sing. This seems the best place to share the poem, “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.
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.
But 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.
Life goes on around us whether we join in or not. We cannot stop time. It marches second by second in even rhythm. So we walk our journey in the arms of others who share similar pain. We may not think about it, but we are never alone. Never forgotten. God walks with us, providing comfort and understanding through the words and hearts of others while held in their arms of comfort. Whether living a prison sentence or walking a path not chosen, our hearts are still free. We are free to choose what we do with our time, what we say, where we go, who we choose to talk to, and even behind bars, the caged bird still sings.
Rescue me, Lord, as you have promised; in your goodness save me from my troubles! Psalm 143:11
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 1 John 4:7