The Prisoner by the Open Door

I was awoken two mornings ago by the birds outside. The sparrows, which have featured already in this blog, chirped and chattered as the sun rose, caring little for the displayed time on my electronic alarm clock. A particular bird sound was louder than usual. One must have been sitting upon a window ledge and the echo magnified the sound. 

Returning home ten hours later, the noise was still being made. I went to the dining room to peer out; there was nothing there. And then I saw it. A little baby blackbird, sitting on my dining room windowsill, caught in the Venetian blinds. I looked around- there were feathers and deposits of white excreta over the table, the sill, the windows; it was over the floor and the leather Chesterfields. He must have wandered in last night and was practically held prisoner all day. His parents outside were clucking and fussing, seeing him behind the glass but unable to effect his freedom. 

The rescue operation began in earnest. Lamps and ornaments removed from the nearby table, doors closed, gloves on. The blinds were carefully lifted and I attempted to pick him up, a gesture he politely refused. After some further attempts, I resorted to ushering him into the kitchen. He ran straight past the open door into a corner, during which papa blackbird decided to come in and liberate his offspring. He was no more successful than me in removing the terrified chick, and he too became confused by the window, unable to escape through the double-glazed glass. As my little crisis became farcical, having now two trapped blackbirds in my house, I left them to calm down. Returning a few minutes later, Blackbird Senior had exited correctly, and I escorted my little prisoner to the open back door with the aid of an old shoe. Once he was off the premises, I could begin the clean-up operation.

It struck me how hard it was to get them out. They wanted to leave and I wanted them to leave- on this all three of us were in earnest agreement. The door was wide open, but the mature male was more interested in the closed window and the chick would sooner waddle past the backdoor than go through it. Yet are we humans as foolish as the blackbirds? Christ offers passage to heaven, escape from judgement and reconciliation to God. This is why He calls Himself ‘the Door’, as well as ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’. Most of us will ignore this glorious doorway, remaining in the dank dungeons of darkest ignorance. For this reason, I am not an Arminian- a Christian who believes each saved person freely makes the choice to accept salvation. That little chick was better informed than the corrupted sinner, yet still he toddled past his own escape route. No, I had to force him out, nudging him in the right way, blocking off potential diversions. In my unconverted state, I was not a reasonable, clear-minded fellow who carefully weighed up the gospel’s benefits. I was a warped, spiritually-dead lover of darkness whom the God of light gently prodded into life and liberty. It is a mystery of the gospel that God alone can move the heart to salvation, yet the sinner is responsible for his actions. Perhaps you are reading this, wondering whether God is drawing you to Christ’s free offer of eternal life? If so, I think He probably is. 

Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us…the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

-Acts 16:14