Posted by: pendrops | September 13, 2007

freed to free


“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”
~ Galatians 5

The bronze girl balances on one leg, her other leg pointed precisely behind her, as she pirouettes in front of my favorite Sonoma winery. A ponytail flows with wisps of hair blown around her young and pretty face by imaginary breezes.

As I studied a picture of her the other day, one of my favorite snapshots from our trip to wine country over a year ago, a story of this girl began to unravel.

This bronze statuette, a princess, out for a playful run through the peonies and poppies, finds a fallen bird. The bird flops and flaps in fear as she comes upon it; its song, a dissonant squawk deterring other birds who busily build nests and find mates.

“Shh,” the princess says, kneeling slowly to examine the creature more closely. As she does, she notices the wing: broken. The girl can’t decide how it happened as she searches the vivid garden, the adjacent field, and the darkened forest beyond the castle walls.

“Shh,” the princess says again as the bird relaxes at her gentle voice. She then takes the bird home and, with easy tenderness and time, mends it’s wing. Before long, the bird is healed to fly, to soar even, and the princess returns to the place where it fell to set it free.

And that’s where my figurine princess stands; perched in the freedom moment.

As I shook loose my made-up story and returned to myriad realities, I was visited and revisited by this image of freedom. And, oddly, I couldn’t help feeling a little jealous of this statue 3,000 miles away. I decided, “Of course, she’s free, capable of freeing others. She’s surrounded by lush hills, rich vineyards and luxurious gardens.”

We humans, in all our motion, commotion and emotion, are more commonly surrounded by strife, stress, and strain in the garden of anxiety, anger and activity. Broken and undone, we feel ill-equipped to offer freedom to others, though we are equipped and made for this sort of life.

When I finally landed on that truth, I realized I am so much like the figurine-princess, sufficiently infused and endlessly supplied with freedom for myself and freedom for others. And like so many of life’s greatest intangibles, there’s a cycle to it: the more I open my hands to receive freedom, the more I have to offer; the more I offer, the more I find…


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