I don’t particularly care for what I call scary movies, and although I haven’t seen one in over a decade, Bird Box was intriguing enough to me that I just had to oblige. Over the Christmas holiday, many people were mentioning the Netflix movie, Bird Box, in conversation. I had never heard of it, until my sister-in-law brought it up in conversation. Then, a visit to my grandparents’ house exposed me to more details about it.
My aunts and female cousins were all sitting around the living room, discussing what they thought the meaning behind the movie was. That is what peaked my interest. They were speaking my language talking about spiritual messaging within the movie. Some had spiritual takes on it. Others took the movie at face value and just enjoyed the story. As they discussed, I made a mental note to watch the movie, but later on, someone told me that the movie was “scary” and I scratched it off my list of movies to watch.
After finishing up some work on New Year’s Eve, I decided to take a break and watch something on Netflix. Of course, the movie Bird Box was front and center as a suggestion for me. I enjoy heady movies, and apparently this one was right up my alley according to Netflix. I read through the description, and noticed Sandra Bullock’s face on the screen. I like her…and it’s daylight outside (I thought), I can handle this…and I can always watch a comedy afterwards.
Side note: Watching comedies has always been my way of rinsing my brain after seeing something scary. When I was younger, I would watch cartoons to help me push the memories of the horror flick further back into my mind and to allow happier thoughts and memories to sit in the forefront of my mind.
I decided to be brave, pressed play, and drank in the storyline. The following are the spiritual lessons that I gleaned from the Bird Box movie.
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to bookmark this page, go check it out, and then come back to read through this article and join the discussion.
Spiritual Lessons We Can Learn from Bird Box the Movie
Immediately, I noticed a few clear themes: death, birth, and vision.
Later, I noticed more: wisdom, discernment, and faith.
It seemed that whenever people were exposed to the wicked spirit traveling through the air, their vision was compromised, and they almost immediately died by suicide afterwards. Mostly, it seemed that the things they saw that terrified them were either from their past, or some type of a fear that they held. The lesson that I gathered from this theme was that people, when faced with their past regrets, past decisions, and fears, most choose to die.
In Proverbs 23:7, the bible states “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I interpreted the visions that led people to death as the deepest fears and regrets that they believed so strongly. Because they believed such negative things, they were controlled by their fears, sadnesses, etc., whenever they came face to face with them.
Toward the end of the movie, the character Tom proved that there is hope of breaking the cycle of dying in regret, fear, and sadness. Even though he was being overtaken by the spirit’s influence, he pressed through, hard and long enough to finish what he had set out to accomplish, before he succumbed to suicide.
There is something to be said about the significance of two pregnant women in the story. They were both pregnant with promise. The women showed both sides of what happens when one doesn’t guard her vision vs. what happens when one takes what she has and makes the very best of it. In the story, one woman gave birth to her child, but she didn’t guard her vision, and ended up losing her own life. The other woman, birthed her child, and took the initiative to acquire knowledge and discernment, to gain wisdom, and to grow into the person who would be successful in keeping herself and her children safe.
I took from this situation the lesson that we are all given a vision, a purpose, and that it is up to us to take that vision and to build upon it. It reminds me of the bible story about the men with the talents.
“And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.” – Matthew 25:14
If you read further in that chapter of Matthew, you will learn that the talent that was given to the person who buried it was taken away and given to the person who made the best of his. The same exact scenario played out in the movie. Olympia didn’t guard her vision or protect her daughter, and in turn, her child was given to the other woman.
The bible demonstrates our freedom to choose throughout its scriptures.The thing that keeps many people bound and held back is the reality that we must either suffer the consequences or reap the rewards of our decisions. And the fact that most people don’t possess the wisdom and discernment that will allow them to choose wisely, they, by default, invite others to guide them. Unfortunately, some of the people who are eager to lead are the same people who will lead them to their ultimate demise.
You have the promise of a birth of your dreams. It’s up to you to guard your dreams and your vision and to take them from conception to fruition.
In the movie, if people were to remain safe from the entity that was causing others to die by suicide, they had to protect their vision. There is much to be said about vision in this movie as well as biblically.
Let’s take a look at what the bible has to say about this topic.
“For we walk by faith, and not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12
“A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.” – Psalms 91:7-8
The people in the movie Bird Box were only safe when they walked by faith rather than sight. In fact, whenever they trusted their sight, they were deceived and led to physical destruction. The main character had no way of knowing for sure, but she blindly believed that there was a safe place that she could make it to with her children. She believed it so much that she trained herself and her children to prepare for the journey to the safe house.
Let’s focus on Ephesians 6:12 for a moment. This scripture tells us that we aren’t fighting against physical people and things, but that we are fighting things that we can’t see, spiritual things. In the movie, it seemed that the entity moving about, terrorizing the world, couldn’t physically touch anyone. The only way it was able to harm people was through deceiving them and causing them to harm themselves. For cinematic purposes, the filmmakers allowed the viewers to see a dark shadow overcast an area, and then the reaction of the person looking in the direction of the “shadow”.
Psalms 91:7-8 offers God’s people some encouragement, saying that we will witness people “falling” around us, and that we will see darkness and wickedness, BUT IT WILL NOT COME CLOSE TO US.
The Importance of the Birds
The birds had a great significance as well.
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” – Psalm 91:4
I found it beautiful and extremely significant that the birds were the survivors’ saving grace. There was undoubtedly a surplus of bird imagery in the movie. Malorie was the name of the main character which is symbolic within itself. Mallory is a type of bird. The name also means the unfortunate one…and boy oh boy was she unfortunate in this story. The name is also befitting, because she was the one who led her children to safety. She covered them. She loved them. They trusted her. She protected the future, by protecting the children.
At the climax of the movie, when Malorie had finally made it to the vicinity of safety, she still had to blindly navigate her way to the safe house. She was so close to her personal promised land, and suddenly the journey became the hardest it had ever been. She had prepared for her trek through the unknown, but nothing could have prepared her for what came next. She had previously been instructed via walkie talkie to follow the sound of the birds to safety once she arrived ashore.
The Home Stretch of the Journey
Malorie moved closer to her destination, listening for the sound of the birds chirping. Familiar voices began to drown out the sound of the birds, and she knew that her sense of direction had been compromised. So she decided to rely on her children to show her the way. Shortly after, she regained her confidence, and she could clearly hear again. Suddenly, she was witnessing her children’s sense of hearing being compromised.
You see, in the beginning, it may be easy to hear God’s voice, but when you are surrounded by other influences and energies, unless you have prepared yourself beforehand and possess discernment, you will have trouble figuring out which voice to listen to and which to allow to guide you.
The School for the Blind
When Malorie and her children finally made it to safety, she removed her blindfold and realized that she was standing in a school for the blind. The place was full of peaceful, smiling, socializing people. What can we learn from this symbolism? Jesus warned his followers on several occasions to be watchful and to not be deceived. He also said that IF IT WERE POSSIBLE even his elite might be deceived. To be blind, according to this movie, was a blessing, a gift. They couldn’t be affected by the entity floating through the air, because it could only affect a person by distorting his/her vision and deceiving him/her.
A Lesson In Hindsight
In the end, I realized that Tom had saved Malorie and her children in more than one way. Earlier in the story, Tom was interrupted while telling the children a story. Malorie was trying to save her children by training them to focus on the reality of their situation. She taught them that death was waiting in the wings to overtake them at any moment that they misstepped. On the flipside, Tom was trying to offer the children some hope, something to look forward to.
Though Malorie didn’t agree, she used that hopeful story as a ploy to lure Girl back to safety, and to her surprise, it worked. In fact, the children believed the stories, and looked forward to them. When they reached the safe house, the stories and images that they had been looking forward to immediately became their reality. This scenario teaches us a very valuable lesson of conceiving, believing, and achieving. In. That. Order.
Author of The Mask and Creator of The Write Mind Studio
Andriea Denise is an author, educator, a philanthropist, singer/songwriter, and the founder of The Write Mind Studio. She is passionate about helping people to become the best versions of themselves and to live the lives they actively create.