“It is to our own detriment that we underestimate the might of
small and simple things.” R. Goodrich
A bird hits the living room window in the early morning hours. It is six degrees and windy outside. I am surrounded by warmth and light as I sit at the dining room table reading my Bible in preparation for the day when I hear the sound.
There he sits in stunned silence, surrounded by tiny bird footprints and the blowing wind in the freezing cold on the snow-dusted floor of the front porch. It is a sparrow. His small dark eyes blink rapidly. His brain is filled with all confusion as sights and sounds are blurred and muffled.
I watch. I pray. I wait. He is upright and that is good. A minute passes. Now his blinking stops and his left wing begins to droop and that is not good. I pray harder. Will he survive this blow? Am I standing here watching him die? Oh, please don’t let him die. There is a sense of confusion and a panic within me. Then a verse comes to mind: “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father?” (Matthew 10:29)
In sudden awe I realize He is here. God is right here right now. The Master of the vast universe has His eye on this very sparrow in this very moment. My thoughts are hushed. My breath deepens and slows; my eyes widen in holy wonder. I am fully aware of His presence. My window becomes a doorway to a grand cathedral. My porch becomes a holy tabernacle, a dwelling place for the Almighty in the early morning hours of that bitter frosty morning. I notice the stillness of the moment and the golden light of the risen sun bathing the trees, the snow, the air.
A truth settles in my mind: God is watching and He cares, so all is well; not all will be well, for the outcome no longer matters, but all is well because He is overseeing this event. If I am to stand here and watch this little bird fade away, then I will be standing here watching him fade away while God is here watching him fade away, too. Such comfort! He is watching this, too. Whether this little bird, created and sustained by God, lives or dies, God is good; for His eye is upon this sparrow. He watches here with me and in this knowledge I can rest.
I put on my duck boots and coat. I reach for a flannel-lined jacket to carry outside. I gingerly step across that snow-dusted floor of the front porch with the blowing wind, compressing the snow with a loud squeaky sound and obscuring the many, tiny bird footprints as I slowly move toward my morning lesson from God. I arrange the garment as a barrier to the wind around that little mystified winged creature; a creature owned by the God that sees its downy feathers blowing back in this frigid wind and its head in all confusion.
I go back to the warmth of my living room and wait at the cathedral door. Winged friends Tufty Titmouse and Johnny Junco begin to flit around our sparrow and the feeder that draws them here. Their presence and their soft chirps seem to awaken our little dazed friend and begin to stir his senses. It takes a few minutes longer before the bird regains his bearings and his composure. Suddenly, with a shake of his head, off he goes. He exits the cathedral.
The light seems to change. A sense of the holy seems to have gone. I feel as if I have been tucked into the cleft of the rock and have seen His after parts and glimpsed just a shade of His glory. What great comfort! What great love! To know that all I face in this life I face with God.
He watches as the sparrows of my life fall. When the scene unfolds before me that in my mortal strength I cannot alter or ignore and it seems so hard for me to bear – I can hold His hand for He walks beside me and He is ever near. He slows His steps as the sorrows of this life press upon me. He enfolds me in His embrace when onward I cannot climb. He sits beside me when my brain is filled with all confusion. By His grace, His Spirit brings me to my senses with words from His precious Book and He restores my soul.
Knowing He is here in this very moment, I can stand and watch and wait and prove my love for Him as I glory in His presence and trust in His ways. Beloved one, remember, He is good and He only doeth good. As the song lyrics say, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
“People see God every day, they just don’t recognize Him.”P. Bailey