The following is a poem I wrote that was inspired in part by this song and a scene from the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. It is a story about the freeing power of God’s love, which gives strength and the ability to mount up with wings like eagles (see Isaiah 40:28-31). Sometimes as a young person with unanswered questions and uncertainty about the future, “free” can seem the last word to describe the state of one’s soul (and this is true not just of young people, but people in general). Worries entangle us. The obscurity of the future makes us fearful. Rather than trusting God at such times, it is easy to become comfortable with being entrenched in things that muddy our vision. Yet God does not intend for us to be spiritually confined in a prison of our own making, but to soar on wings like an eagle. This is the premise for I Know Why the Free Bird Dreams.
I Know Why the Free Bird Dreams
I once felt imprisoned, wondering why a caged bird sings.
Then I discovered that though I was caged, I didn’t have clipped wings.
For years I thought that I could not learn to fly-
And in my despair, I nearly accepted the lie.
Then one day the prison door began to unlatch; I held in my hand a key –
And I began to hear a song, the notes bursting forth and free.
The musty silence, it was no more.
Instead, I heard a concerto as notes danced above the floor.
I was wrapped in sunlight and song;
The vision of confinement fading until at last – it was gone.
I learned I could not only fly, but I was born for more
Than an empty, desolate prison floor.
The sunlight had been there all along,
Haunting my dreams with its fluted and chestnut-cello song –
Even as the chains in my thoughts latched me to my gloom,
And the darkness revealed no orchestra, but an empty room.
Yet when the door flung open, to my delight
I saw that it was God who had gifted me with flight.
The song was His, sung into my ear,
The very thing that freed me from my fear.
I took one step further and God grasped my hand,
As my soul exchanged a desert for the Promised Land.
“I will trust you,” my soul now beams:
“For I know why the free bird dreams”.
Art Credit: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium