n a short walk by the water the other day, I was enthralled by a group of sparrows swirling about 50 feet above the dock I was walking on. I’m a city boy and admit I don’t appreciate nature as much as I should and have never paid much attention to sparrows. Don’t get me wrong, I like birds, but usually with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.
But as I was walking along, a flock of sparrows caught my eye. I stopped to watch them for a moment when to my surprise, they suddenly turned and headed directly for the dock. My eyes widened as I wondered if there were such a thing as “kamikaze sparrows.”
They came in hard and fast. Much too fast. Their trajectory was steep and they were all clumped together in a large ball of feathers. The Bible tells us “not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it” (Matthew 10:29), so I was certain God was about to acknowledge a few new feather stains on the dock.
Then the most beautiful and aerodynamically impossible thing happened. Just inches away from beak-planting the dock while going full speed, the sparrows somehow stopped their rapid descent, hovered for a moment, and then disappeared under the dock. It all happened so fast and in unison I had to look around to see if I was the only witness to the miracle.
Naturally I did what you would have done. I applauded. I was still standing there applauding with an amazed expression on my face when some people walked by. They gave me a strange look, picked up their pace, and quickly walked away from the strange clapping man standing on an empty dock.
Sparrows were so common and unimportant back in Jesus’ day, the Bible says you could buy two for one copper coin. When you consider some of the things of God’s majestic creation, it’s easy to think tiny insignificant sparrows would get lost. But Jesus points out that sparrows are actually important to God. “So don’t be afraid,” he tells us, “you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).
Do you ever feel valueless or unimportant? Do you ever think God is busy taking care of everyone and everything else and never sees or notices you? Maybe you feel like Gideon, “…my clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family” (Judges 6:15).
I think Gideon felt like a meaningless sparrow. Of all the unimportant people in his entire family line, he was the least. Why in the world could God be concerned with or use someone like this? The Lord simply says,
“I will be with you.”
I admit I struggle with this. In my weakness and struggles and sin I tend to feel forgotten and useless. If anything, I usually think God is far more exasperated with me than fond of me.
That’s exactly how I was feeling that day walking along the dock. In the midst of my own private pity party, God sent a flock of “kamikaze sparrows.”
It’s easy to think our prayers or struggles or donations or our little ministry are lost, unnoticed and unimportant. It’s easy to think “I” am unnoticed and unimportant. It’s a problem and question we face constantly–even among the pastors and national missionaries we serve. But don’t believe it. It’s a terrible lie. Jesus not only cares but promises to be with us to the very “end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
It might seem a bit strange, but I went to church there on the dock that day. It was a very short service—maybe 60 seconds. But the worship was poignant. God’s majesty and love were on display in a group of tiny sparrows just to remind me… because He does care and He is with me. And if you’ll just look, He’ll send a few “sparrows” to remind you as well.
And when he does, just stand there and applaud.