“God sees the little sparrow fall,
It meets His tender view.
If God so loves this little bird,
I know He loves me, too.”
When I was little my mom used to sing this song to me. Now I sing it to my kids. They love the repetition of the chorus that comes next–love its lilting tune that flits about joyously just like the bird it’s meant to resemble.
Last week when M and I were at the pumpkin patch I came across these birdhouses that seem to have been forgotten and clustered randomly behind one of the greenhouses. At first my eyes ran to the worn paint, faded and chipped, revealing the wood grain beneath. The boards sustaining them: interesting–the rock a perfect accent. But it wasn’t until I got it home that I began to think about birds. About sparrows. And about the song my little ears memorized decades ago.
Believing what Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 6, that God clothes the fields in majesty and feeds the birds of the air, I cannot help but realize how much more–infinitely more–he cares for us. Fix your gaze on the size of the birdie front doors above. Do you realize how small they are? That means the birds–and their brains–are even smaller! Yet we are lovingly reminded that they do not escape the gaze of the Father.
“This is the body of Christ that was broken for you.”
Saying those words over and over and over has a very powerful effect. It recalls the enormity of the gift and of what I believe. It reminds me that every person that comes to the cross is worthy. That every person is loved. That every person is valuable. That Christ died for each of them. And for me.
Inevitably I start to cry and have to try to get my voice under control so I can speak without sounding like a whimpering child. I wipe my eyes before I have to meet theirs and hope my cracked whisper doesn’t give me away. Not because I’m embarrassed to weep, but because I don’t want my emotions to distract them from focusing on the ancient mystery that connects us to brothers and sisters across the pages of time. Across miles and cultures, tongue and nation. He surpasses it all–because His love for us knows no end.
So the next time you see a lily or a spring meadow or a mountaintop, I pray you’ll remember that your worth in God’s eyes is infinitely greater, infinitely wider, and infinitely deeper. Next time you see a sparrow or take Communion, I pray you’ll remember that you are loved.
“If God so loves this little bird, I know He loves me, too.”