One day last week, as I was scrolling down the page on Facebook, I noticed a video from BBC about a very extraordinary bird who lives in Southern Australia and it caught my attention. His name is the Lyre Bird. As I watched and listened to his story, I got that deja vu feeling that I get sometimes when I meet someone for the first time. . . but I swear I’ve met them before. There was something very familiar about him, something very close to home. It felt like we were long, lost relatives sharing the same gene pool.
The Lyre Bird has this uncanny, almost supernatural ability to imitate the sounds of other bird calls. Research has identified at least 20 other bird voices that the Lyre Bird can replicate. He has developed this gift and demonstrates it to attract a female. The greater variety of bird sounds that he can duplicate, the greater chance he has to win over a mate. His magic show is so impressive that he also fools the very birds that he is pretending to be (until they see him face to face). However, his guile doesn’t stop there. If you watch the video you will be amazed by his skill and cunning in sounding like a buzz saw, a camera shutter and a variety of other things that he first heard himself. He incorporates the sounds into his repertoire to enhance his performance to get his own personal needs met.
If you close your eyes, you can be deceived into believing that you are hearing the real thing. . .and the self-deception that originates in the heart, moves the mind to see it, though ever so blindly. The little Lyre Bird has perfected and simplified a very common, particular course of logic, “If it talks like a duck, it must be a duck.” The instrumentality of a blind faith, a faith that man possesses naturally that only makes him a silly goose because it only depends on what it hears, then deceives itself into believing it has seen a duck walking.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” It is fraudulent, crooked and polluted. It is continuously tripped up to the truth. It is incurable, sick and in a feeble state. . .and man does not know it. Every man in his highest state, is altogether vanity (spiritual emptiness, continuously lead astray from truth) Jeremiah 17:9; Psalm39:5
According to an ancient legend, there was a tiny little bird in the Garden of Eden whom God had given the name ‘Gracie’. She was pure and innocent and so wise, that other birds and animals would come to her for advice. They trusted her to be honest and frank, yet very kind and careful in what she would say. She would speak the truth in Love and her words were clothed in Prudence, a virtue that only God possesses.
One day, Gracie was minding her own business (as she was never into ‘monkey business’), when she noticed that Adam and Eve were standing under the apple tree and seemed to be talking to the serpent. Gracie didn’t know the serpent well; but he made her uncomfortable because of his forked tongue (speaking a form of truth with secret ulterior motives). In fact, she was surprised to see the humans conversing with him because of his reputation for saying one thing but meaning another. She was a curious little bird so she flew over to the apple tree to get a bird’s eye view.
Eve picked an apple from the tree, took a bite and handed it to Adam. He appeared to be reluctant to eat it and Gracie heard him say to Eve, “God forbid us from eating from this tree and told us if we ate the apple, we would surely die.” But Adam couldn’t help himself. God had made him perfect and with that perfection came a will with the freedom to chose either good or evil. The temptation was too great. . . so Adam took a bite and he bit off more than he could chew. Then, just as God had warned, death and darkness entered his soul. Life and Light were extinguished. It was the beginning of the end for man. Because of their shame and guilt, Adam and Eve ran from the grove to hide themselves from God. . .and it left little Gracie dumbfounded.
She spotted the apple on the ground and flew down to take a closer look at it. It did look delicious and the scent from it made her feel intoxicated (and she liked that feeling). But she remembered what God had said to the humans about eating it and she had witnessed first hand, what happened to them. So she paused. Then she heard a voice (sounding like truth) coming from the thorns and thistles, “God did say that the humans should not eat the apple, but He didn’t say anything about the seeds.” Gracie thought it over for a moment and against her better judgement, she ate one of the seeds. . . and in an instant, truth vanished from her little heart and instead spiritual ignorance and vanity filled it up to overflowing. And where God Himself had taken up residence, a new presence filled her soul. It was a black hole of desire. Where once she was pure, she was now purely self-centered. It was insatiable and ever-growing. The seed of every conceivable sin had entered her soul. . .and worst of all, she had became separated from the presence of spiritual life in her heart. She had become a mere mortal being. Totally dependent on herself as a resource. A resource that God called death.
She was then given a new name to suit her disposition and character. “The little Lyre Bird.” She was going to spend the rest of her life pretending to be something other then what she really was in order to get her needs met. She was now in a survival mode and she no longer had a sensibility as to what was happening. Where there had been wisdom and discernment there was now the ignorance and the denseness of a Dodo bird. She had become self-deceived. . .and a deceiver. A little Liar Bird.
“They have not known or understood; for He has shut their eyes so they cannot see the truth and their ignorance rules over their understanding. . .they feed on the ashes of truth and a deceived heart has turned them aside from the Wisdom that comes from Above. They have turned everything upside down. They have replaced good with evil; right with wrong; love with hate; other with self; you with me, myself and I; up with down, white with black; peace with war. And she cannot deliver her own soul nor is able to say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” Isaiah 44:18-20
The Lyre bird was naked now, having lost the plumage of her pure and innocent character, so she hopped into the thorns and thistles to hide her shame and guilt. She was afraid of God. She was afraid of His judgment and condemnation. She was without hope, like a condemned criminal. Yet, after a few moments that seemed like eternity, God called out to her. “Gracie, come here. I have something for you. It is a good and perfect Gift from above, from the Father of Lights in whom is no darkness nor shadow of turning. It is the Gift of Mercy. It is the Gift of Life. It is the Gift of Love. It is the Gift of Forgiveness. It is the Gift of my Son, Who is perfectly suited to cover your nakedness. Perfectly suited to cleanse you from all of your shame and guilt. Perfectly suited to make you pure and white as the snow. . .I will give you rest.”
He called her Gracie, even though her name was now Lire Bird. He had called her by her given name, her family name, the name God gave her before time. . . before her birth, before the birth of the Universe. She had been lying in the womb of His soul eternally, where all things that arrive in time have remained until their birthday. Little Gracie, who like Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, was put back together again through the life and death of the Son of God and was made alive again to God through the Love and animating Life of the Holy Spirit. He brings new birth to those who are dead in their sinful ways and clothes them in the plumage of the Beautiful Redeemer, Jesus. She was now Gracie, an eagle and the apple of God’s eye.
“In your shame and guilt, no eye pitied you to have compassion on you; but you were hiding in the thorns and thistles of life, with your nakedness exposed. . . which filled you with self-loathing. And when I came looking for you and saw you in that condition, dead to goodness, dead to beauty, dead to virtue, condemned to die. . .when I saw you, I said ‘Live’. You barely stirred from behind the gravestone, so I said again, ‘Live’. Then you came forth naked but it was the time for Love and I spread my skirt over you to cover your nakedness with with my Son’s robe. . .the Royal robe of His Love, adorned with the Ornaments of His Life and the Fruit of His Spirit. . .Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Mercy, Goodness, Faith, Wisdom, Self-control. All that He is, He has made over to you, little Lire Bird. And He has given you a new name, engraved in His heart. His Family name. His own name. “I have called you by My name. You are mine.” Ezekiel 16; Isaiah 43
My name is Mike and I’m a Recovering Lire Bird.