When the Canary’s Song is Silent

When the canary’s song was gone, it meant death. In the darkest of places, the canary sang. Until, that is, he lost his song, until the gases he inhaled caused his death.

Canaries were used in coal mines to detect danger. When toxic gases became too strong, the canary died. When the canary’s song was silent, the miners knew it was time to come out of that shaft before they, too, succumbed.

The important thing  for the miners’ safety was that they didn’t become so used to hearing the canary’s song that they tuned it out and then didn’t recognize when it first stopped singing. To not recognize that fact was certain death. That is why caged canaries were carried down into the coal mines. If methane or carbon monoxide reached high levels, the canary died. At that point, the levels were high enough to endanger the men working in the mines. When the canary’s song was gone, it was their signal to get out or they would perish as well.

songThe death of the canary saved the lives of hundreds of men during those years.  Because of the ways and amounts of oxygen the canaries inhale, they are more vulnerable to air-borne poisons and therefore are more vulnerable to decreased oxygen levels than are humans. When the canary lost his song, it meant he was dead. It meant the miners needed to evacuate before they, too, lost their lives. 

There’s a life lesson in this phenomenon for me. When I’ve lost my song, it’s a warning that I’ve lost my lifeline to living. When I’ve lost my song, I’ve lost my peace.

There are so many things that can snuff out my joy (the chord beneath the song).

When the song is gone, I need to go back to the last place I had my song and find out what happened. When did the gases become so high that I succumbed? How did the poisons seep so stealthily into my system that I was not even aware?

When the song is gone, it’s past time that I find my song again.

How about your song? Are you still singing, or have you lost the song?

When the song is gone, it’s time to reconnect – with God.



To hear the Booth brothers sing God Gave the Song, click here.

You can also click here to hear it sung by Sharon Haygood on Allelujah! A Praise Gathering for Believers


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