This is a short piece I wrote the other day as a tribute to CS Lewis and a friend of mine. I will expound upon it a little after. This isn’t my traditional type of blog post, but I hope you will still enjoy it and that it speaks to you and Glorifies God. Enjoy.
My Dear, Please Leave the Cage:
“Stop! You are hurting me!”, she screamed as my hand clutched the metal bars that surrounded her. I wanted more than anything for her to leave that cage.
“Stop! You are hurting me.” She said again. I knew she trusted me, but I could hear a mix of pain and fear in her voice as I slowly let go.
Through a tear-stained voice, I let out a sigh and said: “My dear, I promise that I’m truly trying to help you.”
The water filling the cage continued to rise slowly but surely, at first it was a drop on the floor, but it was starting to cover her toes.
She said, “Help me? Why do you think that I need to be helped? I’m happy here. I don’t want to leave. You call it a cage, but I call this place my canvas. I can be anything I want here and do all that I want to do.
The water rose a little faster than before, and it was at her ankles now. Every drop of it pushed dread deeper and deeper into my heart.
So I pleaded again, “My dear, please I’m begging you, you can’t see it. But what you call a canvas, I call a death sentence. The colors you paint in are blood and tears. When you try to dance in that cage the bars tear your arms. When you try to sing the metal bars swallow the sweetness of your voice. Your back is deformed from slumping to fit inside the mold of the cage. Your feet have gone numb from the coldness of the metal. You are dying, please believe me when I tell you are only free to be whatever the cage allows you to be. I’m telling you, please…”, I reached for the lock, “please let me show you freedom.
She screamed again. “Why can’t you support me?” she said to me with tears in her eyes. “Plenty of people are in these homes you call ‘cages’, why should I leave mine? Perhaps you need to try a cage, my love, there’s always room in this cage for you with me….”
Her words lingered in the cold air and then wrapped around my ears. They were sweet, but not whole. The thought of stepping in the cage warmed my soul and then burned me. I knew better than to lock myself away, and I knew the safety of my fate. But I was torn apart in dread desperately trying to change hers. Oh, how I loved her. The water was now climbing just above her knees.
“Please”, I begged as I looked lovingly into her the eyes, “My dear, I love you as the planets love the Sun. But I can’t stay within the orbit of destruction. I love you as a fox loves its hole, but I can’t hide here with you. Oh, how desperately I want to show you freedom. How much radiant beauty there is for you, for me and I pray: for us. But you must leave the cage so I can bring you to a new place where you can find real freedom.”
By this point, my voice was faltering as I gave my desperate plea. My eyes locked on the sight of the key to the cage that she wore around her neck. With a word, she could leave the cage. With a decleration that the cage was enslavement and with a confession that she sought freedom in the light, she could have her soul freed.
I looked to the door where the light was sparkling through. I would have to leave soon if I didn’t want to drown as well. The water reached her waist and started to rise even faster.
She looked at me, with tender eyes and asked: “Do you love me?”.
To which I replied hastily, “My dear, you mean everything to me, which is why I am here. I love you enough to know I can’t make you my everything. Please don’t allow yourself to drown in your decision.” Then, In a last ditch effort I leveled my voice with all the sincerity I could muster and begged, “My dear, please leave your cage.”
She grabbed my hand and pulled me to the bars of the cage and said “If I am your everything, then stay. You can be my everything and I can be yours.” With those words the water had just reached her neck. Oh how could she not tell her death was a few breathes away!
I pounded the doors of the cage and cried as I felt like I was drowning in tears as I resigned and said, “My dear I love you, I love you enough to know I can’t be your everything.”
With a smirk she smiled and she released my hand. Then, as the water wrapped around her lips she whispered, “Well then, let me be free”. She released my hand and in a moment, I was pulled back into the light.
The two reasons I wrote this piece:
This is partially a tribute to the book “The Great Divorce”, by CS Lewis. I just finished this book and it may be one of my new favorites of his. The book is a fictional account that tells the story of people who went to Hell taking a bus ride to Heaven. They are offered the opportunity to stay in Heaven, but many of them refuse to. When they arrive in heaven their loved ones plead with them to stay, but surprisingly those from Hell insist on returning to their miserable home. Many of them choose to hold onto the same pride, ignorance, and desire for comfort that got them to hell in the first place. Many of them can not stand a place where their is no need for popularity, intellectualism, wealth, grudges and so much more.
To them, Heaven was Hell and Hell was who they were. This made me think of an Ask Pastor John Piper podcast I had heard where he mentioned how people in Hell aren’t repentant. So in the end, they chose to be here, and in CS Lewis’ opinion, they would rather stay there than change. That brings up a terrifying point to consider: that today many people do not know the love of God, and even more painfully many do not care to. They are satisfied with the hell they create. They are satisfied with idols they chase just as we would be had it not been for God’s grace. This idea pushed me to write a piece the reflects the ideas Lewis puts forth in “The Great Divorce”.
The other reason, which is really my main reason for writing this as a lament over an experience a friend of mine has just had. Recently my friend experienced something every believer has experienced at one point or another. One of his best friends was taking steps deeper and deeper into sin and my friend decided to take a stand against the decision and he shared the Gospel with him. He couldn’t stand watching his friend throw away his life and look to fill the void that sin leaves in us with the things of this world. Especially because Jesus came to die the death we deserved and then rose so that we may die to sin and rise in joyous freedom. As believers we all receive a freedom that brings us immense joy, but when we consider the bondage of those we love who don’t know God we must pray and do what we can to help them be saved. At the end of the day, it is all up to God, if you feel this pain, rest in his goodness and his sovereignty.
As a recap, I wrote this piece as a lament. There are 1000 ways I can relate to it. But to be clear this is not about a girl that I dated or anything like that. Instead, I simply used the imagery of a man trying to free a woman from a cage because I like the parable style that Jesus used so often. My hope is that every believer experiences the desire to show everyone they know the Love of God. I pray that God turns the heart of our families and friends to himself. If you do not believe in God, or if you are not a Christian, I implore you to understand that we do not share the Gospel with you for any other motive but to show the abundant Glory of God and the Love that he has for you. I implore you to seek God before it is too late.