Roxy Kimokeo shared this beautiful imagery with me this morning.
Birds and a Snare
You know how I love birds? I love that they sing and seem so happy and that they can fly far away and seem to live halfway between earth and sky. Up away from the ground and all the danger and chaos, closer to the sun and moon and stars and almost to touch heaven.
I think of birds a lot when I think of our spirits. When we are happy and full of joy and serving God as best we can in the way we were created to do, our souls seem to sing and to fly higher, and closer to Him. But when we feel sad, or fearful or burdened with sin it’s like we can’t fly high anymore and something is keeping us tied down, and only the grace of our Saviour can help us break free and lift us to fly higher again.
Today, while I was reading Alma 12:6, Alma says “this was a snare of the adversary which he has laid to catch this people…that he might encircle you with his chains, that he might chain you down to everlasting destruction…” and the word “snare” stuck in my mind. A snare, of course, is a noose that’s meant to catch an animal, usually a bird, usually by its leg, but in any way possible and to keep it from flying away. And then the image of Satan throwing his chains over a powerful, magnificent, beautiful bird to chain it down and stop it from flying away came into my mind.
But then I looked up the cross-reference for the word “snare,” and it was Proverbs 29:6 “In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.”
And I suppose I never really realized that not only can a snared bird no longer fly, but it also stops singing. The fear that comes over it makes it silent, and it doesn’t feel that joy anymore, and eventually stops struggling, and becomes a prisoner, unable to fill the measure of its creation. And slowly its spirit and then body die. And that is the saddest thing I think.
Abinadi and Amulek both talked about Christ loosing the bands of death, and all shall rise from the dead. And how wonderful He is to offer that gift to us, and also that He can save us now, and we don’t have to wait. That whenever we call to Him, if we can overcome that fear and just open our mouths once more and call His name, He will come and save us right now, and break those chains and lift us up and carry us away, and stay with us until we are strong enough to fly again and to sing with Him and learn His beautiful, healing, redeeming song and join with the chorus of all His creations in praising Him with every fiber of our beings.
That music becomes deep in our souls and causes every part of us to be quickened and to awaken and to rise closer to Him. It’s pure sunshine and warmth spreads throughout us and then emanates from us and we are empowered to help free other birds, so they can fly too.