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The Myna Bird (19 August)

Our ‘Thought for the Week’ has been written by Sean Fountain who is the Minister of Pier Avenue Baptist Church in Clacton and a member of the EBA council

I have been remembering a story I heard a little while back. It was about an elderly lady called Margaret, who owned a Myna bird.

Most of the time, Margaret’s bird lived in his cage. Margaret loved her bird and cared well for him. She gave him food, water, and the odd treat. At night, she would put a cover over his cage so that he slept. In the morning she would take off the cloth and he would wake. The Myna bird did not have to worry about anything while he was taken care of by the loving Margaret. The cage was a place of safety for Margaret’s bird.

Occasionally, Margaret would open the cage door. The bird would step out of his cage, stretch his wings, and fly around the room. You would think that the bird would like freedom, but it was torture for him. He would land on the window ledge and stare outside for hours watching the birds who were free. This was a reminder to the bird that, ultimately, he was captive. He was not free.

In his mind, Margaret’s bird would dream of freedom. He would imagine what it must be like to soar in the fresh air. He imagined what it must be like to build a nest, find a mate, and decide when he would sleep and eat and make his own choices. But, it could only be a dream, because his world was the room and the cage that Margaret kept him in.

Early one morning, Margaret came into the room and lifted the cover off the bird. She thought that the room felt a bit stuffy and so, she opened the window.

She left the room and carried on with her daily routine. Unknown to her, a slight breeze blew and the cage door sprung open. For the bird, this was his big chance. This is just what he had been waiting for. His big moment.

The bird stood at the open cage door and weighed up. Would he take his freedom, or remain in the security of his cage? He could hear the birds outside and he longed for the freedom that could be his if only he would stretch his wings and fly. But, the cage was secure and made him feel safe.

As the bird tried to make up his mind, Margaret came back into the room. She saw the open window, the open cage door. Margaret ran to the window and promptly shut it. She then went to the cage, closed the door, and popped the cover over the top. The bird went to sleep and dreamt of what he would do if only he was free.

Something to think about:-

  1. In what ways are you like Margaret’s bird?
  2. In what ways is the Church you belong to like Margaret’s bird?
  3. How could you / the Church find freedom?

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