I’m in love with my 2 year old nephew; like, I call my sister-in-law and ask her if I can babysit. Recently on a Saturday morning I took the little guy out on the town. We started at the doughnut shop and got a sprinkled doughnut, then went to Borders Bookstore to see Thomas the Train; to Target to get some toys, and then to the pet shop, or as I told him “the zoo”. Modesto’s zoo is the best! You can pet the rabbits, watch the turtles, and find 100 Nemo’s and Dory’s…and auntie doesn’t have to take care of any of them.
While we were at the pet shop, we turned the corner to see a huge, I mean HUGE, parrot. Tail included, it was about 4 feet tall, and it was trapped in a 6 foot cage. Not only was this gorgeous, very colorful creature confined to a small space, but it could talk and it said “Help me!”… over and over.
The voice of the parrot haunted me for quite a while, a few hours actually. It was so sad to me that one of God’s prettiest creatures was trapped and unable to live a full live as was intended. And while I reflected on the sad image, it kept saying in the background “Help ME!” Soon, it was time to leave, so we got some pizza and I finally took him home.
I had a few errands to run on my way home and stopped by a store to pick up a few things. While I was there I crossed paths with a young man who was very clearly in pain. I will not go into details why I knew this, and honestly, as our paths crossed, I didn’t really think much of it. I walked back to my car still hearing “Help me!” and the thought hit me. The young man was in a cage too. He was trapped. He may have had bad things done to him. He might be making his own bad choices. He might be… so many things, but what he is for sure is: loved by God.
The thought struck me then, and obviously still strikes a chord with me now. Why did a trapped bird affect me more than a trapped soul? Maybe we’ve seen hurt too much to be affected appropriately by it. I’m sure there is more to it.
I’m thankful that God sent a reminder to me to start looking into faces. To pray in the moment for someone who seems lost, hurt, or angry, to intentionally offer a word of encouragement, or whatever I have available in the moment. Because if we see something that affects are hearts, I think it is God’s call to take action. Not to the church, not to the government, not to your husband. To you. To me. And this realization and call to act is what it has been looking like …just living the thing.