We Are Like Nube

Someone from my part of town just reported that her gray cockatiel, “Nube,” just out the door toward the local high school.

She is obviously loved but Nube is about to discover that life outside the house can be a scary place. There are a lot of predators about which Nube knows nothing and for which she is ill-prepared. There are hawks who spend the day circling the sky looking for a meal, some small creature who did not see the shadow passing overhead. We have coyotes who roam the neighborhood day and night, who can jump a six-foot fence like taking a breath. Every so often we hear a scuffle, barking, a squeal or a yelp and wonder if a coyote got another small dog.

I do not know how much of the world Nube understands but I suppose that Nube looked out the window and wanted to be “out there.” She thinks she is free and enjoying the big world, the breeze, the sun, and perhaps resting in a tree. It seems good. That is the paradox. The world, in itself, is good. It was made good. We were made good. It should be that Nube can fly in and out of her house without danger. We should be able to lay down with a random lion without a hint of fear but we cannot. We live in a fallen world of “Nature, red in tooth and claw” (In Memoriam A. H. H., 57.13; Lord Alfred Tennyson). Now she is in mortal peril and may not know it.

So it is with us. We were created free and we were loved, but Satan told us that we were caged and we decided to be “free.” Our Adversary told is that freedom was equality with God and a thing to be grasped. He told us that freedom was “out there.” Now we know better or we should. The consequences of our dreadful choice are all around and all within us.

Perhaps you were baptized and raised in a Christian home and think freedom is “out there,” away from your baptism, your catechism, and your God, the God who said, “I will be a God to your parents and you to you” and you said, “No you will not. I will not have you.” Now you are a very much like Nube, sitting on a branch and enjoying your new-found “freedom,” never knowing that the hawk is circling just above. You’re like the criminal who thinks he is getting away with something even as the police helicopter flutters overhead, out of sight, out of earshot but watching his every move through infrared lenses. He runs to his safe place where the good guys are waiting to arrest him. Fool.

Poor foolish Nube. We can understand a silly bird being but understanding the foolishness of divine image bearers is another thing. What a mystery is sin and grace. May the Lord be merciful to Nube. Thanks be to God that he has been merciful to me and to you, believer. If you are running from Christ it is not yet too late. Turn to him while he may be found, while it is still called “today.”

©R. Scott Clark


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  1. Amen, brother! Lord, come quickly!
    (And I sure hope she gets Nube back very, very soon alive and well. Also, I guess given the presence of coyotes, that the Heideldog doesn’t go out without y’all, right?)

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