It’s worth pausing and recognising where we are at the moment.
The truth is that many of us feel constrained, we struggle with having a caged feeling. We wrestle with a sense of gridlock. There is this longing to ‘do’ things, but a sense of frustration that we can’t look beyond.
Maya Angelou, the African American Civil Rights Activist wrote the biography ‘I Know How the Caged Bird Sings.’ I believe it speaks profoundly into our current situation.
Here are some of the last stanzas of that poem .. that are so typical to our tim
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard. on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.
We all know how the caged bird sings, even in this lockdown moment!
It is because the Spirit of the Living God is in our hearts
But even in this lockdown season, we want to balance what Paul, writing in Ephesians, talks about .. when he talks about both reason and revelation.
I recognise that there is a tension in that but it is what we explore in our spiritual formation and our engagement in society around us.
We think of those Hebrew slaves in Psalm 137: “How can you possibly sing in the wilderness?”
And yet that is what all of us are doing, individually and in the church, where we cannot yet meet as we once did.
But, it is the Spirit of the Living God, that turns our frustration into a fermentation! A way of ‘Stewing in the Spirit’ .. allowing the Spirit of God to bubble up within us.
This is a very important time for us to consider ourselves, our journey, our prayer life … But it is also an important time to consider our engagement in the community and our wider society .. both in what is happening now and what we are likely to see emerging post Covid-19.
We need to remember, that that which brought us to this place, will not take us to the next!
The vision we had before entering this season of Lockdown, will not be the same as we embrace the next phase.
The tools that we have in this phase, will not be the same tools that we need in the next!
But we know how the caged bird sings ..
We sing because the Spirit of God, even in captivity, in lockdown and in gridlock, enables us to worship Him
It is out of the abundance of our hearts, that we are still to be able to sing.
And that is the hope that other people around us are looking for and that is the hope that we can give.