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  • Writer's pictureFaith & Fandom

Bird Box: Covered Eyes

In the depths of the 2018 Christmas season while we were all

snuggled in our beds, Netflix dropped a movie. Apparently,

everyone and their mother (unless you are using your mom’s

account) watched it. In the first week alone, 45 million

accounts watched the movie. That’s not even mentioning the

flood of memes that engulfed the internet for weeks and

months to come. I tuned in primarily because Sandra Bullock

was my childhood celebrity crush and I needed a break from

binge watching Ducktales and anime with my kids.

The plot in a nutshell is this: one day, dark entities start

affecting humanity. Whenever you see them, it causes you to

face your darkest fears, feel unbearable regret, and soul

crushing sadness. Simply seeing them causes you to be

overwhelmed to the point that you quickly and violently take

your own life. The term bird box comes from the fact that birds

sense the presence of the forces and serve as a warning to the

surviving humans. As news reports confirm mass suicides and

deaths across the world, humanity as we know it comes to a

screeching halt. People hide in their homes or an assortment

of safe locations. While they remain there, they are basically

safe. The entities don’t enter dwellings or residences on their

own. The primary times you are attacked and are in danger are

when you go outside or simply look outside.

There were elements of the story that reminded me of The

Happening and others that reminded me of A Quiet Place.

While the book is its own original concept, I doubt the 45

million Netflix accounts that watched it in one week had read

the book first or even knew it existed. I enjoyed the movie and

many people, myself included, found it to have a deeper

meaning that just invisible monsters. Some people saw it as an

allegory for racism and social justice. Some saw it as a

depiction of how we turn a blind eye to mental illness. I saw

some things that spoke to me as well, and I hope that maybe

the things that spoke to me might speak to you.

The first thing that really spoke to me is that whatever you let

yourself see can be hurtful. Whatever you put in front of you

and whatever you choose to entertain can actually affect your

life. You ever hear the phrase, “I can’t un-see that?” It’s real.

You can’t un-see things.

Not everything you see will impact you the same, yet there are

images that will imprint on your mind that you thought were

harmless. The world is full of people trying to convince you to

look at and embrace products and ideas. In 2018, almost

$600,000,000,000.00 was spent on advertising worldwide.

Companies and organizations are desperately trying to put

images and narratives before your eyes because they know in

a matter of seconds, they can shift your opinion and desires.

We have to be careful of what we put in front of our eyes. We

can look at negative things any time we want. We have infinite

access to the darkest parts of creation. We all have access to

perversions, discouragements, toxicity, and any number of

damaging things in a variety of outlets. We have the most

destructive things to lay our eyes on that are just a click or a

swipe away than the average person saw in their entire

lifetime not just 40 years ago.

Accessibility to evil can’t be an excuse to entertain it. We have

to come to the point where we are guarding our eyes. We

become what we see and put in front of ourselves. If we aren't

intentionally cautious, we can bring reckless damage on our

hearts and lives.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are

healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your

eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of

darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how

great is that darkness!” - Matthew 6:22-23.

Jesus makes it clear that our eyes can fill our entire being with

darkness. One of the things you see frequently in Bird Box is

that when people see the creatures, their eyes visibly change.

They use the change in the eyes to show that the person has

now come fully under the effects of the darkness and that who

they were before has now become twisted.

When we lay our eyes on things that are hurtful, we are filling

our lives and hearts with damage. If we look at sinful things,

we fill ourselves with sin. If we look at things that give life and

are positive, we will be filled with life and the positive. Sadly,

our default is to look at darkness. We stare barely blinking with

our eyes wide open at things that corrupt our souls. Our eyes

act as the funnel for garbage in the process of our whole body

becoming unhealthy.

How much time daily do we spend viewing toxic things in front

of us with internet and social media? How much time in the

real world do we spend willingly putting ourselves in scenarios

where we are seeing things far darker than we need to

behold? I’m not saying we should walk through life

blindfolded, but there are times to entertain and times to look

away. Sometimes relationships we are in provide nothing but a

bird’s eye view of toxicity.

Bob Goff, in his book Everybody Always, has an illustration of

carrying a bucket around with you. He notes that the bucket

represents your life. Whatever you put in the bucket is what

you become. Your eyes are the opening of your bucket. What

are you filling your life with through your eyes? It is crucial to

be careful what we see and don’t see. We can’t hide from the

world, but we have to choose not just to view only darkness.

The Bible says God's Word is light and lamp. We have to make

sure we are balancing out the darkness we view with the light.

Living our lives blindfolded and hiding won’t work for us. We

have to balance.

David sets the example for this in Psalm 101:2-4,

“I will be careful to lead a blameless life—

when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of

my house with a blameless heart. I will not look with

approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless

people do; I will have no part in it. The perverse of heart

shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what

is evil.”

This is the same dude who’s peeping on a lady lead to adultery,

the death of a child, and the murder of a spouse. He learned

those lessons the hard way. He knew how easily setting your

eyes on the wrong things could wreck your life. David made a

point not to look on things that will destroy him, and we need

to make the same assertion.

Let’s get back to the Bird Box. The crazy aspect of the story to

me is that the creatures didn’t come into homes. You had a

secure and safe space. All you had to do was to control what

you let in. Every time they let a toxic presence in their safe

space, it brought toxic downfall. We aren’t turning our homes

or grocery stores into fortresses, but it would be wise for us to

a create safe space in our hearts and lives. Our time with God

should be a safe place that we guard. We need a safe place

where we can be restored and refreshed. Time with loving and

encouraging friends and family should be a safe place. Those

safe places need to be somewhere that the damaging

elements of our lives aren’t attacking.

There are going to be people who encourage us to look at the

negative; you won’t be able to be in an emotionally or

spiritually safe place if those people are directly influencing

you. John Malkovich warned people repeatedly to not let

people into their safe place, but no one was listening. People

just thought he was being a selfish jerk (and for the record, he

was). Yet that selfishness had their safety in mind. Sometimes,

the ones who try to get you to let your guard down have good

intentions, but bad ideas. Guarding yourself isn’t a bad thing.

Keep in mind there is a huge difference between being

sheltered and being guarded. Sheltered means you don’t know

what’s actually happening in the world. Guarded means you

know it and protect against it.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do

flows from it.” - Proverbs 4:23.

Be careful of those who influence us not to be guarded. The

people who encourage us to not guard ourselves often are the

ones seeking to cause us harm, or at the very least are the

ones who have no reservation about watching us fall.

Throughout the story sight was ruled out as a viable and

trustworthy option for communication and guidance. One of

my favorite scenes in the film is the flashback where Sandra

Bullock is teaching Boy and Girl to listen through clicking rocks

together. She makes the sounds and trains them to listen and

follow. She taught them to listen because listening could save

their lives. However, just listening to random sounds alone

though wasn’t going to be enough. The creatures could

manipulate sound. They could make their voice sound just like

someone the kids trusted. They had to know what they heard

matched with what she taught.

Sometimes voices sound like trustworthy ones but lead us in

the wrong direction. Once they got off the rapids, they were

bombarded. Those kids were constantly being pressured to

remove their blindfolds and ignore what she had taught them.

They needed to know not only how to listen, but how to listen

for the truth.

Jesus makes this statement in John 10:27:

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they

follow me.”

Jesus is saying that His sheep know what He sounds like. His

people follow him. For a lot of us, we have a decent idea of

what God’s voice sounds like. Maybe it’s not an actual audible

experience, but we understand what it means for Him to lead

us. Many of us have felt in some profound ways what it felt like

to be guided by God and truth. Yet with so many other voices

surrounding us, it can be arduous to hear the truth.

There is a scientific concept called the “Noise Floor.” Noise

floor is the amount of noise that must be risen above or

overcome in order to be heard. There is a lot of distracting

noise in our life. It’s so easy to get distracted or miss God’s

voice altogether because of the spiritual noise floor where we

are. Just like with Boy and Girl when they were lost, there were

constant voices competing with Sandra’s. These voices were

familiar voices that made it hard for the kids to know what to

do. So many of us are listening to imposter voices because

they sound close enough to the truth to believe. Jesus said His

sheep listen to His voice, but coming from one of the easily

distracted sheep, it’s not always easy.

In the climactic scene in the woods, the creatures are using

Sandra’s voice to tell the kids to take off their blindfolds. They

are manipulating them with the familiar. They have to not only

hear the voice but know imitations. If you are listening to God,

His voice is never going to command you to do something that

goes against his Word in scripture. His voice is never going to

tell you to sin or go against what’s taught through His Word.

We can’t just listen for a kind voice, or a voice that tells us

what we want to hear. We have to listen for the voice that

gives us the truth.

I’ve had “friends” who have encouraged me to sin because it

was justified. I’ve had people I trusted as leaders guide me to

do things that were totally against the very goals we were

trying to accomplish because it was easier and more

convenient than actually obeying. Think about it — imitating

the truth is Satan’s longest running con. When Satan tempted

Adam and Eve, he twisted what God said and made them

question if they really understood what God had commanded.

When Satan tempted Jesus, he twisted God’s Word and used it

as a provocation for Jesus to go off course.

Our enemy twists what God says. He makes it close enough to

the truth to lead us away. Girl and Boy had a very convincing

adversary, but the only thing they could do is rely on what they

had been taught. Girl responded to their deceptions by asking,

“Isn’t it dangerous?” She responded knowing Sandra had

taught her better. Like Girl, we have to spot imitations. The

more often we are walking with Jesus, the easier it is to hear

His voice and identify imitations. He often speaks so much

softer than we are anticipating, Just as God spoke to Elijah.

“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in

the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass

by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains

apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the

Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an

earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.

After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not

in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face

and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then

a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1

Kings 19:11-13.

Elijah knew He was going to need to listen for God, but he had

to be undaunted by the loud distractions. God was in the

gentle whisper. If he hadn’t been listening for it, Elijah would

have never heard it above the noise floor.

Two thoughts I want to leave with you.

#1: Guard yourself, your eyes, and your heart. Know that what

you allow inside you can affect you. Don’t allow yourself to be

filled with darkness.

#2: Learn how to listen. Don’t buy into the lies. Don’t allow

yourself to be so distracted you can’t hear the truth. Listen for

the voice you can trust that actually matches up with the truth.

#3 (This one is a bonus): Don’t let Sandra Bullock just be the

Bird Box lady. This woman drove an exploding bus, saved the

future with Stallone, floated hope, got Samuel L Jackson out of

Jail, lost a beauty pageant, gave Liam Neeson an enema,

rescued wayward football players, and so much more just to

be known as the lady on Netflix with a blindfold.



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