We bird watch, Small One and I, here in Husband’s childhood home. The living room door opens out onto a terrace where Mama has several options for the birds. I have never been a bird person myself, but Small One gazes as them with wonder in his eyes.
They are not quite as enamored with him. Whenever I see birds at the wooden house, I take Small One to the door for a look. All of the birds respond by flying away. Sparrows, finches, red-breasted robins, pigeons and other birds I don’t know. Most return after a few minutes. The gold-breasted finch with green speckled wings and a white head is the bravest.
The sparrows, I think, are the most fearful. They take flight as a flock, first to the garden hedge where they hide for seconds, and if we stay at the door, they flee the hedge for the air and beyond. They rarely return while we we wait at the door.
I wonder if this is why Jesus talks about sparrows and not eagles, crows or vultures – the strong birds – when he tells his friends that he knows when every sparrow falls. For he knows and values the life of even the most fearful, frantic, insignificant little sparrow, and he knows when each of them is sold and when each of them falls.
If he knows and values even these small creatures, how much more does he know us and number each one of our days as well.
So do not be afraid, he says, for you are worth more than many sparrows.