Small Voices

A large black crow sits atop a conifer cawing.

He will not be moved from his tree top position. He is big, he is powerful.

A noisy miner rises, joined by others, calling, scolding on the defence. Something precious dwells in that tree.

The crow remains. Briefly he opens wings to hold balance, on defence.

The miners are undeterred. They continue on swooping, their vocalisation constant. Smaller, prettier, weaker, they beat, and turn and call again and again. They work together.

The crows sits unflinching – its large presence threatening – its caw guttural and bleak.

Finally the miner birds win, crow rises, wings wide and cawing. The miners do not stop. They rise shooing the crow right out of their territory. They surround it noisy with their indignant calling, working together to reclaim what is theirs.

One miner bird alone might be no match for a crow twice its size. But the miner has its own weapons. It has the solidarity of its group, voices raised, making a fuss, doing all it can until the threat is gone.

Around us we observe the trauma of giants exerting power over minors. Women sentenced, silenced, censored. Children victims, voiceless, abused. Business that lines the pockets of the few by emptying the pockets of the many…. and it can all just feel too hard, too removed, too big.

I finger my Rapunzel necklace, standing in solidarity with those locked in towers; towers they are powerless to escape from.

We cannot think that those problems of other places are problems we can close our ears and eyes to. If the gospel is for all people everywhere then God’s freedom is for all people everywhere. When news seeps across the planet of atrocities committed we see the crow perched atop the tree – taking power, claiming ground…. it is not enough for us to look at how small we are.

We read a narrative of Davids and Deborahs of Gideons and Esthers. Ours is a narrative of the underdogs who took ground. Of voices raised where darkness tries to hold ground.

Maybe we need to raise our voices on behalf of those God loves, on behalf of those he made to be his image bearers and swoop, annoy or beat our wings on their behalf.

Maybe the crow wasn’t sitting atop the tree some of those miner birds occupied but they didn’t leave the few to defy the crow. They all raised their voices, they made some noise, they made a problem for the crow.

Maybe we need to be a problem for some crows in our world. And if all we can do is raise our voice then lets raise it noisy and make it count.

Helen Keller – deaf and blind, said this
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.

Isaiah said, and Jesus confirmed –
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Today when you see a crow on your patch gather your noise makers around you and do not give in until you have seen the victory. Today when you are fatigued by the bleak stories of the powerful and the powerless – ask, What is it I can do here and now?

Gather up your troops – we are not defeated until we turn away our faces in silent indifference. 

I will not refuse to do the something I can do.


God, would you forgive us for our indifference, for our obsession with our rights at the expense of others, would you show us great and creative Holy Spirit how to raise our voices, how to beat our wings, how to use our community to break the chains of injustice. Where we are fatigued by brokenness would you speak Hope. Where our hearts are broken and our swords bent would you gather a tribe around us to strengthen us again. Help us to love in word and in deed.

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4 thoughts on “Small Voices

  1. Amen! Wow, what powerful and challenging words! Thank you…I too often turn my eyes because situations seem so overwhelming as much as I would love to do something. We have plenty of miners here so they will remind me of this xx

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