High in the heavens a bird circled slowly, as if looking for the perfect landing spot. The wind carried him gently, as his wings moved in a steady rhythm, then stilled as he glided. He circled once, then twice, always moving slowly, steadily, gracefully.
Below him lay civilization: streets, buildings, and man. As the bird circled once more, a small figure came from a building and stood silently, hands behind his back, as he gazed thoughtfully at the beautiful creature above him.
The bird was free. The wind carried him wherever he wanted to go, and he knew this as he winged his way swiftly over oceans, buildings, lakes and people. He was the envy of man.
Man has always envied the freedom of birds — not only their ability to fly, but their ability to wander and go wherever their spirits lead them. Birds have free spirits, and men wish for them.
These were thoughts that ran through the man’s head as he silently watched the bird. But he felt no envy; he felt compassion and love for the winged creature. For this man was also free. He had gained a free spirit, and he felt kinship toward the bird.
As he watched, people came from the building and stood behind the man as they all watched the beautiful figure soaring high above. They too understood that Christ gave a free spirit to those who love him. As the church emptied, the people looked to the blue sky and saw the bird as a symbol, a promise that those who believe and love him Christ makes free, yes, very free. They knew, and they loved the creature that now symbolized their souls.
As though realizing his purpose was to be completed, the bird broke from the circle and climbed higher, higher, until he had disappeared from sight. The people below watched and saw him as he symbolized that someday, when Jesus Christ will come again, those to which he has given a free spirit will soar heavenward with him.
The crowd dispersed, leaving the first man alone. Only that day had he given his life to his Savior, and now he dropped to his knees to thank God and say, “Now we are free.”
This piece has been slightly edited from the original version, which I wrote when I was 13.