Apology To A Caged Bird

Apology To A Caged Bird

1600 1063 Don McCaleb

Test.  One two.
Three four. This is more
than just
words expressed
into a microphone.
This is life and death as metaphor and poem.
This is my heart pressed
against a megaphone.
This is all the hope in my chest
here to confess
the God who came to empty His divinity
into a cage of humanity and entropy,
mercy dressed in chromosomes and flesh
to join in our adversity, to love us in our suffering.

Consider this an open letter to a caged bird,
one child out of a generation
in African nations imprisoned by starvation.
This is my apology
to a girl orphaned by HIV,
who deserves more from me
than the misery
of a birthright stolen by the machinery of poverty.

A childhood of tear stains, and stars torn asunder.
And I can’t help but wonder,
is my faithlessness leaving her falling, fatherless,
featherless on flightless wings?

I’m sorry for the accident of longitude and latitude
that forms the grid of bars on her cage,
for my attitude of apathy
that added to the twisted theology
that justifies my obesity,
that tips the scales for me
and strips away her dignity.

Consider this an open letter to my soul.
If I could fly, I would perform the rite
that rights the wrongs,
write God’s words in the sky,
ride the currents, creating cursive curves to cure the curse
of currency that currently
traces a trajectory of tragedy.

But I’m trapped between these dreams of wings
and this politician in my head
who changes convictions and hides in contradictions.
See, I know this world is not my home
and this life is not my own,
purchased with Christ’s blood alone.
But I can’t stop trying to fill my hollow bones
with empty things that only bring death’s sting.

What kind of faith is it
that turns away from a pandemic?
Aren’t we all diminished
when we become a church of critics and cynics,
while the very image of God’s beloved Son
is hungry and hurting and living in mud?
And we won’t get our hands dirty.

If true religion is for the
widow and the orphan,
are we able to offer more than
just labels? As Christians
will we make the decision
to love the children without fathers,
to be a drink of water
for God’s sons and daughters?
Will we live what He has spoken?
Will we bend to lift the damaged and the broken?

Church, I’m not gonna hide tonight from what the truth is:
God gives us gifts not to keep but to use them.
Are we really God’s people, or do we just talk big?
Let’s prove this;
Get your heart out of your wallet and let’s do this!
Get your feet in the dust and let’s move into living
the bigger story God is using
to heal the world.

Consider this an open letter to the Holy Trinity,
who is ever present at the address
of misery and unless.
Father will you grant us new wings,
that we might be
ones who bring
Christ’s kingdom?
Seeking the suffering, being with the weak,
interceding with the Spirit to redeem the dignity
of every human being.
Would You break the spell of HIV?
B the key that unlocks the door of this C A G E.

Will You speak a new name for all of your adored?
Call us forth,
change our course,
orphaned souls to find true north,
meant to fly, sent to rise
up from the cage,
reborn
for Your
sky of stars.
Let love break through these bars.

Credits:
Videography: Wes Broadhurst & Jim Kallemeyn
Music: Papercandle
VJ: Liz Jarocki

All Content © Don McCaleb 2010-2014. All Rights Reserved.


Don McCaleb

Don is rapidly gaining recognition as a poet with an original voice and a powerful message. Through live performances and video, his poetry has sparked worship gatherings and conferences around the USA, as well is in England, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Ireland and more. Don has delivered his words live at festivals 30,000 people in attendance, but he’s just as glad to share in a quiet local church worship service. When he's not writing rhymes, Don is the Worship Arts Director at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs. The church is known for theological depth, inspired artistry, and serving those in need. He also creates, tells stories and asks questions through a variety of media. From video scripts and direction to digital art, Don is always seeking to draw people into the deeper, eternal story. His poetry videos feature the work of team members including videographer Jim Kallemeyn and VJ Liz Jarocki.

All posts by Don McCaleb

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