This old hymn has been bouncing around in my head all afternoon…mostly, because a couple of baby sparrows fell-jumped-pushed out of their nest today.
“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young– a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.” Ps 84:3
The grands and I had been watching the nest since school let out a few weeks back. We couldn’t see it very well since it was high above our heads – just up under the eves – crammed tightly between the drain spout and wall. However, we could see mommy and daddy bird flying in and out as the chicks grew older. Soon their little heads were poking up over the rim of the nest, and we could hear them cheeping for more and more tasty morsels. The Grands loved it, and the teacher in me couldn’t resist tying it to a little science lesson here and there.
While it turned out to be a fairly decent science lesson for the Grands, it didn’t turn out so well for the sparrows. Feathers had not completely replaced the downy fuzz. The mechanics of moving wings hadn’t really kicked in yet. 20+ feet is way too far to fall when learning to fly or being pushed out of the nest by a sibling. If that wasn’t bad enough…roaming dogs, cat and hens just don’t understand that baby sparrows really aren’t a tasty morsel of food or a fun toy. sigh.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny, and not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father?” Matt 10:29
Facts of life: Life – death. Suffering – happiness. Righteousness – sin. Illness – health. Heaven – Hell.
Polar opposites surround us everyday. The good news is that Our Father’s love also surrounds us every day. In the things that make us beyond happy, but also – in the things that are too terrible to mention. He knows, He sees, and He loves. Sometimes it is hard for us to understand. After all, we are limited by the four dimensions that we were born to endure in this lifetime. “Things” get broken, but Our Father is not limited by such “things”. Most of the time, our humanness wants to help – change things – put the “birds” back in the nest – fix the brokenness, but because the nest is too high to reach, we often think it is impossible. Lucky for us, God is not limited by those funky little “natural laws” that govern us. Miracles can and do happen.
Today, Mommy and Daddy Bird buzzed our heads and tried to do what they could to locate the lost ones. By the way they were chattering and pecking at each other, they must have been having a very a serious conversation about whose fault it was that two had flown the coop (so to speak). One of the tiny ones didn’t survive the fall for very long. I’m not sure about the other one. It was still hopping along when I left, so who knows? Miracles do happen. The Grands were watching. Mommy and Daddy Bird were watching. Better yet, so was God.
Tomorrow, the Grands and I will probably be looking at the little feathers and talking about the over-sized mouth, the downy fuzz, and comparing it to the few feathers. Just as today, we were talking about the baby bunny that Monkey, their cat, had laid at their doorstep – minus its head. Life goes on.
Life is not easy, but there are lessons to be learned from all of it. Wisdom that lies behind the pain and ugliness. Discernment that will help guide our own future decisions. And the love of the Father who is walking through this mess with us. Sometimes I wonder why He doesn’t just put a stop to all of it, and then I remember – if He controlled everything, we would never be free to learn from all that is happening around us.
Hopefully, when we eventually jump from the nest of this world, our wings will be strong enough to carry us beyond our wildest dreams.