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The Empty Cage[1]


By Steven Sim






I once attended a church,

And saw a cage on the pulpit;

Therein stood no birds,

Only an empty cage with rusty grids.


What was the cage standing for?

I thought only crucifix has a place here.

Of the empty cage I wished to know more,

Was it sacred, was it dear?


A pastor came and talked to me,

And he began to unfold tis mystery,

From a cruel prison to a cage emptied

From a sad tale to a love story.



“One day I was walking on my way;

And I met a lil’ boy with a cage,

Inside the rusty prison, a few birds lay-ed,

Poor creatures which the boy treated with rage.

And so to him I said,

‘What plans have you for these birds?

They seemed ill and exhausted.’”


The Boy:

“Ha! These ugly creatures,

What good do they serve?

I’ll cut off their wings, burn their feathers and have them tortured,

I’ll play tis game till death they deserved.”



“Oh no, my lil’ friend!

Why not let me have them?

Why not let us strike a deal?

For me those birds, for you any price you willed.”


The Boy:

“Ha! A crazy Christian priest.

Do you really know what you’ve said?

How will these ugly creatures do you please?

How will they be worth the price you’ll pay?”


“Let me tell you tis,

Those birds are a bunch of filthy things,

They are ugly, dirty and could not sing,

There is no way these birds could make you happy,

They only deserve death and misery.”



“My lil’ friend, thank you for your words,

But I am all too determined.

Let us not speak of what they’re worth,

Just the price I asked you to name.”


The Boy:

“Surely these birds will do me no good,

And cash does give me better mood;

And since you’ve said so, O’ Christian priest,

Will you ten dollars for each bird give?”




Thus the price did the boy please,

And the birds I’ve gotten were released.”


“But now my friend let me tell you a more glorious tale”


And the pastor told me another story:


One day, Jesus was going on His way,

Then He met Satan, in whose hand a cage;

Inside the rusty prison, human souls lay-ed,

Poor souls which Satan treated with rage.



“What plans hath thee for these pitiful souls?”



“Ha! Those useless creatures,

What good doth they serve?

I shalt chop off their limbs, burn their mortal flesh and have them tortured,

I shalt doest tis till death they deserved.”



“Nay, Satan!,

Why not let Me have them;

Thou and I shalt have a deal,

For Me those humans, for thee, any price of thy will.”



“Ha! Ever so loving art Thou, O’ Christ,

Doth Thee really want these humans?

How wilt they be worth any price?

How wilt they be worth Thy attention?”


“Let me say-est tis:

Those humans art a bunch of filthy things,

They art ugly, dirty and stained with sins;

There is no way they’ll make Thee glad,

They wilt only strike against Thy back;

These useless creatures deserved no good,

They wilt be better off dead!”



Look at the Jews in there,

‘Abraham wast our father’, say-est them.

Surely if they were Abraham’s heirs,

They wouldst have known Thee, Son of Man!


Look at the Philosophers in my trap,

O’ lovers of Sophia[2], they claimed to be;

But why not they accept

Thou, the Wisdom of God Almighty!


Now look at the blind, the deaf, the lame and the sick

Look at those adulterers and fornicators and their wicked souls

What great contempt to Thee their deeds,

Not good nor righteousness, they ever know.



“Verily Satan, I thank thee for thy words,

But I am all too determined;

Who is better to judge these humans’ worth,

Just say it and I shalt pay the price that thou wilt name.”



“Surely these humans wilt do me no good;

And there art certain things that lift my mood;

And to do as Thou pleased, O’ Son of God,

These souls I shalt release at the price of Thy Blood!”












[1] The narration in this poem was written for aesthetical expression and symbolic representation of the love of God towards the wretched humanity. This story is by no means a retelling of an actual event and its details are not intended to be studied as theological truth. Some elements found in the poem are only for expression sake. It must be noted that although God may come into some kind of negotiation with Satan or man, the sacrificial death of Christ was not meant to appease Satan, but was as propitiation to God on the behalf of man. The sin wrought was against God, hence the blood poured was rightly a peace offering to Him.


[2] Sophia – personification of wisdom. Thus, philosophy, coming from the Greek word, öéëïóïöéáò

 ( philo = friends/lovers; sophia = wisdom ) literally means Lover of Wisdom.  The Bible in 1 Corinthians 1:24 declared that Christ is “the power of God and the wisdom of God (èåïõ óïöéáí - theou sophian)”.