For God So Loved the World

Ever read a story that just gets caught in your mind, turning over and over, as if on repeat? So that each time you notice something new and significant about that story? The following is such a story. I read it at the beginning of the week and thought about sharing it here, but thought “no, I should write something of my own for my blog, rather than just passing on another’s writing.” But this story got stuck in my head, and I have felt the Lord prompting me to share it here. I am sure that the original author would agree that it is, after all, HIS story, and that He would want it told.

I was taking a walk with Mr. Marvelous last night. Hand in hand in the late summer evening, watching the beauty of the fireflies as they came out of their daytime slumber to fly about the Queens Anne’s Lace that is growing with abandon in the fields around our house. We were just walking, listening to the crickets, and watching those fireflies, when this story started to play in my head again, so I shared it with Mr. Marvelous, as eloquently as I could remember it at the time. We both had goosebumps. It was at least 75 degrees and humid.
I hope this story touches your heart as it did mine this week, over and over and over again. I desperately want this blog to have significance beyond photos of beautiful rooms. If you have any ideas of things you would like to see written on, blogged about, questions you have that you have always wanted answered, please leave a comment or send me an email, because I am on the hunt for inspiration. The relentless quest to glorify Him.


The Birdcage
By Mary Southerland

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV).

George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town, came to church one Easter Sunday morning carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak.

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the boy and asked, “What do you have there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply. “

What are you going to do with them?” I asked.

“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ’em and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll let the cats have them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh? Why, you don’t want those birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing and they ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” the pastor asked again.

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “I’ll take ten dollars!”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill and placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story. One day, Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap by using bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got them all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m going to have fun! I’ll teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’ll teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really going to have fun!”

“And what will you do when you get done with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ’em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do you want for them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They are no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!”

“How much?” Jesus asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

The pastor then picked up the cage, opened the door and walked from the pulpit. Today, my friend, consider the price Jesus Christ paid for you. Go back to the Cross – to Calvary and the darkness that once filled your world. Remember what it was like before Jesus Christ came into your life with His presence and power. We forget. We lose sight of where we were when He came and just how far He has brought us. Today is a good day to go back over the books and celebrate! Celebrate an undeserved and stubborn love that has radically changed our lives for eternity. Celebrate a forgiveness that covers every sin and shame. Celebrate a hope that is found only in a crucified and risen Lord!

Have a wonderful weekend friends. Don’t forget to look up into the beautiful summer sky and remember the One who set you free.


  1. I love reading your blog! That is one of my favorite stories. It never gets old. It paints a perfect picture of God’s love for us. We are so undeserving but yet his mercy and love are always there! Thanks sooooooooo much for allowing God to use you! =)

  2. Wonderful picture and reminder of God’s grace. That kind of love still amazes me after all these years. Thanks for sharing. You can be sure that your blog has significance beyond pictures of pretty rooms! Have a great weekend.

  3. Thank you for bringing such light and inspiration to those of us who visit your blog. I love to come here – especially when I just need to have my spirits lifted. I appreciate that you let Christ use you as such an extraordinary vessel. Many blessings to you and Mr. Marvelous.

  4. Erin,

    I read your blog occasionally in between what life throws at me….as much as I enjoy looking at the beautiful pictures you find its stories like this that keep me coming back.

    I (as a lot of us do)struggle myself with the day to day stressors of life but, it is stories like this that puts it all into perspective.

    Thanks for sharing and continue with the stories that touch the heart we need to feel in order to be real!

  5. I’ve always loved this story. Thank God for his grace, and for great people (i.e. Erin Marvelous!) to share in the journey. xoxo

  6. Beautiful story. I hadn’t heard it before. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of God’s love for me.
    I love your blog.
    God bless you!

  7. Beautiful story. Thank you so much for posting it and giving me perspective when I needed it :o) You’ve touched at least sixteen lives by sharing. BTW- it gave me goosebumps too.

  8. Your blog is filled with such treasures.

    I am starting a NEW Mr. Linky party. It will begin on Aug 10th so everyone will have a week and a half to think about their first post. I have a poll up for votes on which button should be the new button. The “party” is called The Knock Off Knock Out-where THRIFTY meets creative sensation. Go over and learn more about the new weekly event and I would appreciate if you would cast your vote and HELP pick the new button design and its the last week for the July GIVE-A-Way, if you would like to be a part of that event..

  9. Wow. Mary Southerland led Ladies Ministry at the church I went to growing up. Small world…

Submit a comment

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.