Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:30
This is one of my favorite verses. Somehow it is comforting to know that nothing happens without my heavenly father’s knowledge. I love how it defines my worth in the eyes of God, and how it assures me that fear is not necessary because he has me. And seeing how the number of hairs on my head has been a roller coaster ride, I am grateful he cares about such things. But on this day, I am taken by the sparrow, because this short passage also shows me that I am not the only one valuable to God.
A few days ago I was driving through the mountains as I so often do. The day was bright but cold, one of those winter days when the sky is crisp blue with wisps of clouds that look like feathers. All along the road there were pastures with cows huddled together as if they were football teams discussing which play to run. All but the calves, which were frolicking through the grass, clouds of breath rising around their faces when they ran as the cold nipped at their hooves. I noticed the rivers running full, and the water cascading down through the rocks racing to the sea. The trees were bare and therefore the birds were more visible than usual, their bright colors a stark contrast to the black branches on which they sat. A cardinal flitted to a fence post. A blue bird flashed his coat before darting out of view. A sparrow dove towards the water then rose again quickly as if he was playing hide and seek.
It was a beautiful ride and I was soaking it in, until I came upon an old green farm truck. He was moving in the opposite direction than I was. As we came closer to passing one another, I watched a Red Tail Hawk take flight from the ground headed to the sky, which is opposite from the usual way they move. He crossed over the road on his way. When he did, he was grill height and the truck never saw him until it was too late. I heard him thump into the vehicle and watched him bounce to the ground, just as I passed him. In my rear view mirror I watched, feathers flying, wings flapping, and the brake lights of the green truck as he slowed. I too, slowed, thinking I should go back…I should do something for this poor bird floundering on the side of the road like a worm after the rain. Just about the time I decided to turn back, the hawk went still and it was over. All of this took mere seconds. The green truck and I both saw it was futile to stop and so we kept moving. As I drove away I was saddened and fighting back tears for the majestic bird, because I just love nature and I feel connected to it. In the moment I was grieving this beautiful bird, the scripture about the sparrows came rushing into my mind.
It was not about how God loves me and cares so much for me this time. No, this time it was about how much he cares for the birds….that not one of them can fall to the ground without his notice. It struck me then how valuable the BIRDS are…that God knows their every breath and feather. He knew that hawk, just as he knows the sparrows, just as he knows me, just as he knows you. Every detail. Every breath. Every moment. Nothing escapes his notice. Nothing surprises him. He is not afraid. Ever. I cannot fathom a God who is so very big that he knows every bird. I cannot grasp a God who loves so very much that he cares for each bird. On this day, I give tribute to the sparrows…and hawks…and other birds who teach us about our Father’s love for even the smallest details and the smallest of creatures.