Tuesday, December 23, 2008

His eye is on the sparrow

My zebra finches seem pretty happy in their cage. Every once in a while I see eggs in the two nests. But when I clean the cage, the eggs are lying at the bottom. No clutch has survived since summer. The same seven Australian sparrows flit around, build nests, and peck at the birdseed.

One of the birds is disabled. Its feathers did not form completely as a chick, so when it flies down for food, it lands heavily. Thump. It can fly about a foot high, so it hops its way back up four feet to the nest, branch by branch, or climbing the side wires. I don’t want it breeding so I’ve been threatening to put it outside all winter.

Early Sunday morning, watching it hop around the newspaper liner, I’d had enough. One swoop of the big green net and it was trapped. It fluttered a bit inside the mesh until I released it into a planter outside the door. “Goodbye, little bird,” I said, stepping back into the warm house.

After church, our company stayed until mid-afternoon. “Did I see one of your birds outside?” asked Megan. I explained that it was poorly feathered and would be a hindrance to healthy birds in the future.

As we said goodbye in the waning light, Megan pointed, “There it is!” and sure enough – the little grey sparrow was pecking grass blades that had sprouted in the driveway gravel near the entry steps. Our company left, but I watched the little ball of fluff for several minutes. Hearing the other birds chirping through the open door, it hopped up the stairs, one at a time, cocking its head to get a bearing on the sounds from within. Soon it was near the door.

“Oh, for crying out loud!” I scooped it back into the net and popped it into the bottom of the cage again. “You have had a lucky reprieve.”

Its mate swooped down, chirping loudly with excitement. They attacked the seed together with great vigor, and then it hopped, fluttered, and climbed its way to the branches above.

I shake my head every time I see it. God’s eye indeed was on that sparrow. Its fellows have no idea how close it came to certain death. It makes me wonder how many times I’ve been rescued and haven’t even noticed.

Read more:
*The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

And so I walk in the LORD's presence as I live here on earth! I believed in you, so I said, "I am deeply troubled, LORD." In my anxiety I cried out to you… Psalm 116:6–11

*Praise be to you, O Lord, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 NIV

*At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

"Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!"

Jesus' parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Luke 2:25–33

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