Invisible Barriers

October 9, 2022 by  
Filed under Faith

By Charlotte Riegel –

When cool autumn winds reminded me summer was over I started seasonal cleanup, gathering and cleaning flowerpots and gardening tools for ready use next spring. Once inside the greenhouse, its warmth offered relief from the cold blustery wind and made this chore more pleasant.

A rustling sound coming from one corner of the greenhouse soon distracted me and I desperately hoped it was not a rattlesnake, a creature common to our community. My fears were quickly alleviated as a little bird flew up, hit a window, and fell to the ground. Apparently it had entered through a partially open window and now desperately sought an exit.

“You poor little creature,” I thought. “You see your world out there but you don’t see the barriers of glass preventing you from being there.” Each time it flew up and hit the glass it tumbled to the ground or work bench, lay there a few moments regaining composure and then flew off again, only to repeat the agonizing crash.

I watched helplessly for a while until it fell into a planting tray near a partially open window. Gently picking up the tray I prayed it would stay still long enough for me to move the tray through the small opening. Once the tray was placed on the window ledge, the bird sat there a moment then hopped onto a nearby woodpile and quickly flew off to its freedom.

While continuing my cleanup duties I kept thinking of that precious little bird and how much like it I sometimes am, getting trapped in some sort of prison and then flying madly about in an attempt to regain freedom. I see the freedom I desire but fail to see the barriers preventing me from attaining it. While becoming increasingly frantic in my endeavors to be free, the situation often worsens rather than improves. As I learn to be still, calm and quiet, trusting God, He leads me through the escape, which exists but in a state of franticness, I have failed to see.

Several days later on my final yard cleanup I discovered yet another bird trapped in our greenhouse. This one was dead.

Oh Lord, I desire to be calm and still so You can lift me to the freedom that allows me to be all You created me to be.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart… Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:4, 7).

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NIV).

About Charlotte Riegel

Charlotte Riegel is a freelance writer recently moved from a large metropolitan city to a wee rural community in Western Canada. Some call it retirement. She calls it 're-tire' ment as she explores new avenues of written and visual expression while assisting her husband in establishing a business in the tourist industry.
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