Lately I’ve begun to notice birds. I mean I know they’ve been there all along because of all the chirping and singing. However, here in TN, I’ve become aware of their physical presence. A vivid splash of red often dances by me on my morning walks, and I revel in the cardinal’s splendid coloring against the harsh reality of winter. Suddenly, a blue brilliance appears like a Where’s Waldo discovery among the brittle brown leaves. For a moment, their beauty and the simplicity of sighting them along an ordinary walking path awes me.
But there’s another aviary friend among those beauties. However, its brown and tan hues camouflage it among the leaves. In fact, I don’t think I’d even notice it, if it weren’t for its digging and rooting around in the leaves. Household Sparrows (as they are known) are everywhere. So much so that their constant presence outside my door makes them easy to overlook. Yet, this is the exact bird that Jesus mentions in Matthew 10:29-31 (AMP) — the common and barely noticeable sparrow.
29 Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s consent and notice. 30 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Although I’ve read this verse 1000 times, I suddenly identified with the little easy-to-ignore birdie. While the cardinal and blue jay always caught my eye with their fancy plumage and rich coloring, I rarely appreciated the sparrow. As I walked the path that day, I realized that I was a sparrow. I lived a Sparrow’s Life.
I am common, like sparrows. They are everywhere just as millions of people inhabit the earth. I have needs like the sparrow: shelter, food, safety. The Word says God sees and cares for each sparrow but He values me more. I’ve never seen a starved and dying sparrow. I’ve never seen a sparrow flitting around anxiously, desperate for food. They don’t stress because they know their needs will be met.
I began to see my life as a sparrow’s life. Knowing God is involved in the details of their lives confirms He is infinitely more involved in the details of my life. I’ve experienced some radical life changes in the past 6 years, and as I look back, I can see that every detail has worked out in ways I never imagined, in ways I never expected.
Recently, my husband and I went on a 20th anniversary trip. We headed to the same location where we spent our honeymoon. The first day as we settled into our beach chairs, he received a message that some old church friends were staying at the same resort. We hadn’t seen or spoken with them in at least 10 years. We made plans to meet up the next day just to chat.
The following day, we met up with our friends and shared what God had called us to do in our new missions adventure. Their excitement and pride was evident, and before we left, they asked if they could pray with us. We, of course, agreed, and they prayed for us among the sand, sea, and beach umbrellas. As we started to leave, the wife put her hand on my shoulder and spoke words of encouragement, which she felt the Lord asked her to share with me. She had no idea that the exact words she spoke over me was a hidden worry that I had voiced to no one, not even my husband.
In that moment, I knew I was God’s most valuable sparrow. He was working out the details, taking care of my worries, before I could even speak them. He knew my heart and hadn’t forgot about the things that matter to me. I was truly valued and He let me know in a most unexpected way. It reminded me that the Sparrow Life is the only way to live.