To say that birds were a “thing” in my house growing up would be an understatement. We were the Bird family. “Bird, just like flies in the sky,” mom would always say when explaining how to spell our last name. Of course, when your last name happens to be an easily identifiable cute creature, you suddenly find yourself the recipient of many gifts, figurines, and other items resembling said creature. On the wall there still hangs a picture of a cardinal by a famous artist. In the kitchen a string of lights, each bulb surrounded by a metal bird. A white ceramic one sits on a doily on top of the piano. You get the idea.
But the love for birds in our home goes beyond décor. We also love feeding and watching them. No one more than my mom. We always had a bird feeder, which she kept faithfully full, to make sure her feathered friends would keep coming to visit. We would often sit at the dining room table with a cup of tea in our hands, watching through the large picture window.
“There’s Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal!” She would say. Or, “Look! The finches are starting to turn back to gold again!” And of course there was the red-bellied woodpecker, the nuthatch, and the tufted tit-mouse. And anytime a chickadee showed up? Things really got exciting.
Everyone was invited to the feast. Even the simple brown sparrows, less flashy than their colorful relatives. I confess, I can’t remember ever hearing, “Look! A sparrow!” There was nothing particularly extraordinary about them. (They weren’t the cool kids.) I can relate.
I think there’s something special about the fact that THIS is the bird Jesus chose to draw our attention to, to help us understand the nature of God’s care for us. Because we all know what it’s like to feel un-extraordinary. To look at the other birds and think, “I bet God loves them more. They’re so much prettier.” What’s the end of that sentence for you? Everyone else is so much… smarter? Richer? Thinner? Godlier? What is it that you tell yourself disqualifies you from God’s love and care?
"Not one sparrow will fall to the ground outside your Heavenly 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 10:29-31
"Don't be afraid." When the lies have you convinced He doesn't care? Remember the sparrows.
"You are worth more than many sparrows." You are precious to Him. So much so that he knows the exact number of hairs on your head in this moment. (And if your hair sheds anything like mine, you know that's a lot to keep up with.)
He sees. He knows. He cares. So don't be afraid, friend. And don't forget, you are worth more than many sparrows.