April 13, 2011

Safe in His Care

I was having one of those mornings. Maybe you know the kind. After oversleeping, then stubbing my toe so hard in my rush to find my clothes that I had to sit down and cry a little, I dropped the toothpaste lid down the drain in the bathroom sink, so it became clogged, forcing me to give up brushing my teeth altogether.
I then turned my attention to feeding my two young daughters, who needed to be dropped off at school much sooner than we were going to make it. My older daughter, not one to be rushed under any circumstances, was only half dressed and would be lucky to eat two bites of breakfast before we left. My younger could find only one of her shoes.
I am normally extremely punctual and organized. I have been called names for this (such as “obsessive compulsive”). So to say the least, I was not a happy camper. But the thing that bothered me most was that I had been obliged to skip my morning visit with my Best Friend. I paused just as we were, at last, rushing out the front door and said, “Jesus, I really have to know that You love me today.”
2011 1510 page31It happened to be my day to do in-town errands. After I dropped the kids off at school, I stopped at the bank, the cleaners, the grocery store, etc. After a break for lunch, I had just one last thing to do before I had to pick up my daughters from school.
I pulled into the carport-style carwash and got out with my hand full of quarters to start the washing wand. I had made it about halfway around the car, making gentle circles over it with the wand, when something firmly thumped my right shoulder and plopped down in front of me on the trunk of the car.
I realized at once that it was a very young sparrow, possibly on its first flight. The poor little thing wasn’t able to get any traction on the wet car and soon flopped onto the ground, where it proceeded to flap around, slowly slipping further and further under the car.
Alarmed, I realized I’d have to move fast or I wouldn’t be able to reach it. Quickly getting down on all fours, and with a little help with the wand, I nudged the baby bird close enough to pick it up.
Time stopped. I felt only its soft, delicate little body in the palms of my hands and its two tiny feet struggling to get a grip on my fingers. Its vulnerability moved me. I looked around, hoping to see its mother hovering about, but couldn’t locate her. I noticed a row of bushes several yards beyond the far side of the carwash and decided that the baby bird would be safer there than at the car wash. I also said a little prayer that Mommy would soon catch up with it and keep it safe.
It was as I gently set it on a branch of one of the bushes that the Bible verses popped into my head: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. . . . So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31). The words to the childhood song wafted from my lips, “God sees the little sparrow fall, it meets His tender view. If God so loves the little birds, I know He loves me, too.”
Tears sprang unbidden to my eyes as I realized the awesome answer to my morning’s cry for God’s love. He couldn’t have spoken to me more clearly if He had thumped me on the shoulder. In fact, I have repeatedly found Him to reveal His love to me in such personal ways.
He makes the same promise to us all, and He can always be relied upon.
Karen V. Brown, now retired, writes from Hudson, Florida. This is article was published April 14, 2011.